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October 8 – 14 is Valley City-Barnes County Mental Health Awareness Week

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Edited 10/10/2023

The Barnes County Commission and Valley City Commission, in collaboration with the Valley City Public Schools, City-County Health District, and the Barnes County Behavioral Health Coalition, have officially proclaimed the week of October 8, 2023 as Valley City-Barnes County Mental Health Awareness Week.


Valley City Public Schools has worked in recent years to establish the Access for All program, to help connect students with mental health professionals regardless of ability to pay. In North Dakota, 6,000 adolescents aged 12-17 have depression. Valley City Public Schools is partnering with City-County Health District, the Behavioral Health Coalition, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to bring greater awareness to the mental health.


“We are excited to partner together to raise awareness for mental health in Barnes County. Each day, students and adults in our community face many challenges related to mental health. This awareness week will allow us to begin destigmatizing mental health and help ensure that individuals know resources are available for them or someone they know that is struggling with mental health,” states Josh Johnson, VCPS Superintendent.


Beginning October 8, community members are invited to attend these events:

  • Out of the Darkness Walk on Sunday, October 8 at VCSU Lokken Field. Those affected by suicide – and those who support them are invited raise awareness and much-needed funds, strongly sending the message that suicide can be preventable, and that no one is alone. For more information, visit afsp.org/valleycity

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid on Monday, October 16 at the Hi-Liner Activity Center Lobby from 4 – 8 pm. Community members, whether you work with youth or not, are invited to attend this free class. “With half of our population experiencing mental health challenges in their lifetime, this is one of the most common health challenges in Barnes County. Mental Health First Aid is an opportunity for you to identify, understand and practice ways to respond to mental health and substance use challenges,” states Theresa Will, City-County Health District Administrator and Mental Health First Aid instructor. Register online at https://forms.office.com/g/gKKZrgmfJV or by calling City-County Health District at 845-8518.

The Barnes County Commission voted unanimously to support the Mental Health Awareness Week proclamation. Standing: Josh Johnson, Theresa Will, Pete Paulson, Shawn Olauson. Seated: Cindy Schwehr, Vicky Lovell, Bill Carlblom.
The Barnes County Commission voted unanimously to support the Mental Health Awareness Week proclamation. Standing: Josh Johnson, Theresa Will, Pete Paulson, Shawn Olauson. Seated: Cindy Schwehr, Vicky Lovell, Bill Carlblom.

Mayor Dave Carlsrud presents Theresa Will, CCHD Administrator and Josh Johnson, VCPS Superintendent with a signed copy of the City of Valley City proclamation.
Mayor Dave Carlsrud presents Theresa Will, CCHD Administrator and Josh Johnson, VCPS Superintendent with a signed copy of the City of Valley City proclamation.

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