Minnesota HELP Resources (minnhelp.html)

Direct: http://www.green5.org/minnhelp.html
Updated 7/17/18 -- a thorough update to get rid of dead links throughout - ALL links work as of 7/17/18

This MinnHelp (Minnesota Help, minnhelp.html) web page contains a non-commercial free available online meta-listing of directories of organizations, primarily support groups, for those dealing with addictions, coping with difficult situations, mental health issues, etc. 12-step and non-12-step groups. Also, United Way 211 (Formerly First Call For Help).
    It also specifically lists a number of lesser known Minnesota support groups such as alternatives to A.A., resources for secular / humanist / atheist / religiously challenged, and singles resources.

Corrections, suggestions? emaiil Jim L at jalars (at) compuserve.com

Q. Will I list your group?
A. The honest answer is probably not. Unfortunately minnhelp.html was originally meant to point to the various compilations of help / support group resources out there. Over the years, Iíve added individual group listings that I had personal knowledge of or involvement in, or had heard about through friends, or ones of personal interest to me, and are lesser known (I rarely list the well-known groups that are well-covered by other directories). I just donít have the time to try to list all groups out there individually Ė as it is, too much of minnhelp.html needs updating, so Iím having trouble finding the time to maintain it as-is. Good luck with your group!
HOWEVER, I am always looking for what I call DIRECTORIES - websites that list a lot of other organizations, particularly that fit the "Minnesota Help" theme. And I'm looking for more singles groups to list.

Disclaimer: Much of the information about organizations and groups come from friends and people who have written me about their experiences. That is, much of the descriptive material is not mine but come from a variety of people, most who wish to remain anonymous.

Quick Index:

End Quick Index (see below for links):

United Way

United Way 211, formerly United Way - First Call for Help, is a community answer line that provides you with information about, and refers you to, individual and family services. Trained volunteers can give you information on health services, health issues, counseling, child care, legal help, and more. The phone line is answered 24 hours a day.

Minnesota Help Info ( MinnesotaHelp.info , also mnHelp.info )

MinnesotaHelp.info (or mnHelp.info) is an online directory of services designed to help people in Minnesota identify resources such as human services, information and referral, financial assistance, and other forms of aid and assistance within Minnesota. It is especially rich in resource information for seniors and their caregivers; people with disabilities and their caregivers; parents and families; low income people; and veterans.

JAL Comment: It sounds great. It certainly has an incredible number of listings. But it seems to be almost all either government agencies, clinics, and hospitals. I was hoping for a list of free or very low cost support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Al Anon, Nicotine Anonymous, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, yada yada -- there are a few of those are listed interwoven amongst the government and commercial ones, so one must patiently scroll and click next page to find these few nuggets. Also, there is (or may be) a "Group Results" tab near the top of the page, and from that one can pick "Support Groups".

A comprehensive directory of support groups put together by the Mental Health Association of Minnesota( https://mentalhealthmn.org/support/support-groups/ )

Statewide: https://mentalhealthmn.org/support/support-groups/. This page also has a heck of a lot more than meetings, e.g. several listings for Advocacy and Information, Legal help, Filing a Complaint or Reporting Abuse, Employment, Housing, and Social Services. A "must visit" page.

Minnesota Recovery Page (MRP) ( http://www.minnesotarecovery.info )

Minnesota Recovery Connection ( minnesotaRecovery.org )

This is another big one. In their words, "Minnesota Recovery Connection (MRC)ís mission is to strengthen the recovery community through peer-to-peer support, public education, and advocacy. MRC is a Recovery Community Organization serving the seven county metro area of Minnesota and supporting recovery communities in both St. Cloud and Duluth."

They also have "All Recovery" Meetings that honor all pathways to recovery, and other kinds of meetings - click on Events at the top of the page.

Idealist.org organizations ( https://www.idealist.org/en/?type=ORG )

This is a very exhaustive listing of a wide variety of social service and self-help organizations. Their emphasis, however, is on charities such as Habitat For Humanity and the American Lung Association to name two of thousands. If you are looking for a list of self-help support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Women For Sobriety, etc. try Support Groups - U.S. and Worldwide

Phoenix Spirit Newspaper (and website)

The Phoenix Spirit newspaper is a free recovery-oriented monthly newspaper that is distributed to most libraries and 500 locations in the metro area. Try also Alano clubs. Near the back, it contains a long long excellent list of self-help recovery organizations, both 12-step and non-12-step.

The website http://www.thephoenixspirit.com has an extensive listing of support groups (click on the "Support Groups" on the top menu bar. Also check out "Resources" on the top menu bar - this is a mixture of free support groups and commercial resources). There is also a listing of (mostly commercial) area Classifieds. Also check out the "Calendar" on the top menu bar.

Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health

The Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health page at http://www.macmh.org (then click on "Publications | Resources" on the top menu bar) has several local and national mental health organizations (not limited to parents and children)

NAMI - National Association of Mentally Ill -- Minnesota Resources

The NAMI - National Association of Mentally Ill -- Minnesota Resources and support groups at https://namimn.org/support is a very huge listing

MentalHealthMN listing of support groups and other mental health resources

Mental Health Minnesota lists Peer Led support groups, Depression and Bipoloar Support Alliance (DBSA) groups, NAMI groups, Minnesota Recovery Connection, and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE). This page also has a heck of a lot more than meetings, e.g. several listings for Advocacy and Information, Legal help, Filing a Complaint or Reporting Abuse, Employment, Housing, and Social Services. A "must visit" page.

Minnesota Resources from the National Mental Health Information Center

Minnesota Resources from the National Mental Health Information Center at https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SRG-MN/SRG-MN.pdf

General Search Engines

Use this to search internationally. Many organizations don't have local web pages and aren't listed in local Minnesota directories; but are active in Minnesota. The organization's international or national page may give Minnesota information.

Google ( www.google.com )

bing.com ( www.bing.com )

facebook.com ( www.facebook.com ) - Facebook hosts innumerable support groups and pages. First select "Groups" from the white menu bar (just below the top dark blue menu bar). Then do a search, e.g. "secular alcoholics". Then select "Pages" and repeat the search. I prefer "groups" over "pages" because in groups, everyone gets to post a new thread. In "pages" , only the administrator(s) post threads, and you are restricted to replying to their posts. Oh, with the exception of the "Visitor Posts" that anyone can post a new thread to, but hardly anyone looks at those. (When I bookmark a "page", I always bookmark its "Posts" page, which is on the left side menu -- that way I see visitor posts as well as the administrators' posts).

Meetups.com Meetup groups of all kinds, by city

Meetup.com/find. All kinds of groups from support groups to book clubs to single parenting to singles groups... Enter something within the search box, and to the right of the search box specify the distance and the city, e.g. "within 5 miles of Minneapolis, MN"
     Note: don't worry if nobody has "RSVP'd" at the meetup.com link for a particular group that you may find on the Events Calendar for that group - many don't bother to do so, but just shows up as they wish -- the one I attended in July 2009 had no RSVP's but 8 people. Similarly ignore the number of people who attended on the meetup page, that's just members of the meetup group, not that of everyone who attends.

A Few Minnesota Resources Not Listed Elsewhere Online (Well, I haven't checked lately)

The below are Minnesota resources I haven't found at any of the above web sites, but have been recommended to me.

  • Workaholics Anonymous ( http://www.workaholics-anonymous.org/meetings/wa-meetings ) and scroll down to the "USA" meetings and then to the "MN" meetings

  • Some Mental Health Resources Not Listed Elsewhere

    • DBSA (Depression And Bipolar Support Alliance) -- (Formerly MDMDA - Minnesota Depressive And Manic-Depressive Association)

      Support groups for people who live with depression or bipolar disorder (manic-depression)--whether they have the illness or care about someone who does.

      Metro-area twice-monthly or more frequent meetings (7/14/18) in Eagan, Maple Grove, St. Louis Park, St. Paul (Highland Park). Greater Minnesota meetings in Albany, St. Cloud,

      There is no local (Twin Cities or Minnesota) web page. However, the Mental Health Association of Minnesota lists all DBSA meetings in Minnesota. https://mentalhealthmn.org/support/support-groups/ .If that doesn't work, go to www.mentalhealthmn.org and then click on the "Find Support" menu item and then on "Find a Support Group" Support Groups link. Or call 612-379-7933 for information on the Minnesota meetings.

      Note: the national DBSA web site also lists Minnesota meetings but it is much less informative about the meetings than the above mentalhealthmn.org web site (for example it doesn't tell you the exact location or the day of the week), but here it is anyway: Go to http://www.dbsalliance.org and choose PEER SUPPORT on the menu near the top, or the "Find a Support Group Near You" button on the right side. .

    • Peer-Led Support Groups for Recovery and Wellness are designed to foster an environment of inclusiveness and belonging. Group facilitators are peers Ė people who have personal experience living with a mental illness. Peer-to-peer support lends a unique connection, creates a safe space, and serves as a catalyst for hope. For meeting locations, go to https://mentalhealthmn.org/support/support-groups/ .If that doesn't work, go to www.mentalhealthmn.org and then click on the "Find Support" menu item and then on "Find a Support Group" Support Groups link. Or call 651-493-6634 for information on the Minnesota meetings.

    • Recovery International / Abraham Low Self-Help Systems (formerly Recovery Inc.), A non-profit volunteer-led cognitive mental health program. (www.recoveryinternational.org) FFI: Wikipedia article Meeting locations: Metro - area weekly meetings as of 7/14/18 in South Minneapolis, Fridley, and Burnsville. Greater Minnesota meetings - None. For up-to-date meeting locations see https://recoveryinternational.org/meetings/find-a-meeting/

    • Anxiety Support - Open Door Outreach - A support group for people with anxiety/panic disorder (http://www.anxietysupport.net) Metro-area biweekly meetings - Minneapolis, Edina, St. Paul (Highland Park),     9/2006 Announcement: Open Door Outreach has merged with NAMI MN (National Alliance for Mental Illness - Minnesota www.namihelps.org ).     NAMI's calendar of Open Door Anxiety Support Groups and other NAMI support groups and classes

  • Some Chemical Dependency Resources Not Listed Elsewhere

    • AA-Alternatives (Non-12-step approach to alcohol and other addictive substances)

      The above Minnesota Recovery Page is primarily focused on 12-step programs. So for a little balance, I am listing some non-12-step organizations, and that don't seem to be listed in any of the above directories.

      • First, A Word About A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) and Narcotics Anonymous

        Often people find A.A. to be annoyingly dogmatic and / or too religious. Though A.A.'s literature and Traditions (particularly the long forms of the Traditions) and the "Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions" are clear about there being no "musts" in A.A., other than a desire to stop drinking, many (probably most) groups have evolved a lot of musts or strong shoulds, such as you must have a sponsor, you must work the steps in a certain way, you must go to several meetings a week (even 90 meetings in your first 90 days), you are powerless over everything without our help and guidance, etc. However, there are many A.A. groups that are less dogmatic and can be a great resource for recovery for even the very independent-minded. Try these suggestions:

        • Groups labeled Topic, Discussion, and Big Book often are a relief from what some find to be the constant hammering away on the Steps (many people think they are religious despite what some may try to tell you about substituting a light bulb or "the group" for God and Higher Power), as no non-deity concept of "God" makes sense in many of the steps. Step Eleven ("Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out" is the most obvious example of a step where no non-deity concept can replace "God" and still make any sense.
              The Steps and Tradition Two apparently describe a favor-dispensing deity -- one who will restore us to sanity, manage our lives, care for us, love us, remove our shortcomings, listen to our prayers, give us power, and guide our groups.
              Four Federal Courts of Appeals (Second, Third, Seventh, and Ninth circuits) and Two State Supreme Courts (New York and Tennessee) have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are at least religious in nature, and that nobody can be coerced by government authority into attending these organizations (as that would violate the First Amendment's prohibition against the state establishment of religion). No Federal Court of Appeals and no State Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. To date, the United States Supreme Court has declined to consider any of these rulings, thus letting these rulings stand. For more on these court rulings:
        • Avoid groups that meet at the larger Alano Clubs -- they tend to be more dogmatic and try to enforce conformity. There are exceptions.
        • Try smaller groups -- they tend to be more informal and value new (and existing) members more because they want to continue to exist and grow. Again there are exceptions.
        • Be patient, keep trying different groups until you find some that fit. There are all kinds of groups out there.

        Click Here For links to Agnostic A.A. and regular A.A. and Narcotics Anonymous and Other 12-Step Organizations

      • Addiction Busters - A mixture of cognitive, non-AA, non-12-step approaches to addictions of all kinds Addiction Busters -- Open to Men and Women -- Tuesday 730 p.m. - 930 p.m.
        Men's Center in Minneapolis, 3249 Hennepin Ave S., Room 55 (in the basement)

      • SOS - Secular Organizations For Sobriety Minnesota Secular Organizations for Sobriety - 3 meetings in Minnesota (yes, all in the Twin Cities) as of 7/15/18 -- Edina (Tuesday and Wednesday) and Minnetonka (Friday) (sosminnesota.com)

        Secular Organizations for Sobriety (international) (sossobriety.org)

      • SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) - a cognitive approach based on Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Therapy As of 7/15/18, there are metro area meetings in Minneapolis, New Brighton (2), Edina, Spring Lake Park, Cambridge. One of the New Brighton ones is a family and friends one. There are some Greater Minnesota ones too. www.smartrecovery.org/meetings_db/view/

      • 16-Step Recovery 16 Step Recovery/Discovery Groups (http://charlottekasl.com/recovery-discovery-groups/)
        Currently (7/2018) no Minnesota meetings. There used to be one near Lake Harriet in South Minneapolis for many yhears.
             The 16-Steps For Personal Empowerment does not have religious (or deity-spiritual) slant but sounds kind of "new age". But at the meeting I attended, it was just people talking about their progress in sobriety (and some from drugs), and dealing with other life issues. There was no dogma beyond a simple reading of the 16 steps at the beginning of the meeting.

      • Moderation Management, Minnesota (for people who wish to reduce their drinking, as well as for those who decide to abstain)
        • As of 7/18/18 there apparently is one in Minnesota -- in St. Paul -- and that one has been "on hiatus" for several years. http://www.moderation.org/meetings/index.shtml#Minnesota. If that link doesn't work, try www.moderation.org and in the left side menu, look at the Live Meetings link and the Emerging Meetings link.
        • For online groups, see www.moderation.org and look at the Online Support section.
        • Also try Addiction Busters (south Minneapolis 4 blocks east of Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) - they have some people trying moderation approaches
        • Best Moderation Management book, "Responsible Drinking - A Moderation Management Approach For Problem Drinkers", Rotgers, Kern, Hoeltzel, 2002. Excellent and very practical on the various ways people make a moderation plan and what they do if they don't meet their goals. It also has Moderation Management's guidelines on drinking (a good plan in itself). Many suggestions for alternative activities. Also good suggestions and support for abstinence (which by the way many moderators choose to do for one or more 30 day periods a year). The extensive Blood Alcohol Charts in the back of the book are the most credible ones I've seen.

      • Non-conventional A.A. (Non-conventional Alcoholics Anonymous) Ones that really emphasize the freedom to choose one's own concept of a higher power(s) or to have none at all

        • We Agnostics, Alcoholics Anonymous, Minnesota (Atheists, Agnostics, and secularists who find AA to be too religious (and not just merely "spiritual") We Agnostics of Uptown (Uptown in Minneapolis)
          Every Sunday 6:00-7:00 p.m.
          Every Wednesday 7:00-8:00 p.m.
          Men's Center in Minneapolis (Women welcome too),
          3249 Hennepin Ave S.,
          Room 55 (in the basement)
          Corner of 33rd St. W. & Hennepin Ave. S.
             (3 blocks south of the Hennepin Ave. / Lake Street intersection;
              and 3 blocks east of Lake Calhoun).
          Minneapolis, MN 55408
          Contact: tcAgnostic (at) gmail.com
          This group is also listed at the Minneapolis A.A. Intergroup (www.aaminneapolis.org) - it is listed under "Minneapolis, Southwest"
          (This group was formerly known as Atheist/Agnostic AA)

          Other We Agnostics groups (U.S. and worldwide)
          Links to A.A. in Minnesota and worldwide, as well as other 12-step "anonymous" organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous, Al Anon etc. - Normally on this web page I don't list resources that are very well-known and/or covered by the Minnesota Recovery Page (MRP) ( http://www.minnesotarecovery.info ) -- the Minnesota Recovery Page (MRP) is an excellent listing of all of the 12-step "Anonymous" groups that have meetings anywhere in Minnesota, and some that don't. As well as some non-12-step groups). But I will make an exception to my non-listing policy here for A.A. and Narcotics Anonymous since people who are reading this section might be keenly interested:

        • Pagan-Friendly A.A. This group probably has more non-pagans than pagans. Its main claim to a special listing is that they doubly-emphasize that everyone really is free to choose their concept of a higher power(s) (or none at all), and don't try to pressure you into believing in a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity. Currently (7/2018) they are listed at the Minneapolis A.A. website in the "Minneapolis, Southwest" section as the "Equinox" (Thursday 7 pm) and "Solstice" (Monday 7 pm) groups, meeting at the Twenty Four Hundred Club (enter back door), 2400 Blaisdell Ave. But check the Minneapolis A.A. website (aaminneapolis.org) for the latest information. (Note: searching that website for "pagan" does not work, you just gotta "know" the code).

    • Orange Papers - Why some people seek alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programs www.orange-papers.info - This is a very comprehensive web site on these issues, particularly whether these organizations are not only spiritual, but religious as well. Actually, in it's hey day, it was at orange-papers.ORG , not at .INFO. The .info site is kind of a mirror site to preserve the .org site or somesuch. Anyway, go to the very bottom of the .info site for some of the story and information. There there is a link to the "Wayback Machine" archive of the .org site, and some "aorange" Facebook group. Google "orange papers org" to find more info about / around it.

  • Buddhism / Mindfulness for 12 Step Program Participants

  • Sobriety Calculator Sobriety Calculator (provides your sobriety time in two ways: (a) number of days e.g. "712 days" and (b) years, months, and days, e.g. "1 year, 11 months, 13 days". If this link doesn't work, go to aastpaul.org and hunt for it.
  • Some Secular / Humanist / Atheist Resources Not Mentioned Elsewhere

    Some Singles Resources Not Listed Elsewhere

    This is a fairly weak listing. I am eager to know of any more comprehensive web directories. Please email me at JALARS (at) COMPUSERVE.COM

  • Directories and ways to find singles groups and organizations

  • A Few Minnesota or Twin Cities Singles Groups

    • Parents Without Partners -- Google "parents without partners minnesota" or somesuch -- I'll let you sort this all out.

    • Twin Cities Curvy Connection (www.twincitiescurvyconnection.webs.com ) is for plus size individuals and their supporters, admirers and allies of all sizes. (Some acronyms used are BBW, BHM, SSBBW if that means anything to you -- BBW means Big Beautiful Women, and I think BHM means Big Handsome Men). It seems to be a successor organization to In A Big Way (which, 7/16/18, I can't find anywhere, even on Facebook) ## 7/16/18 Update - the twincitiescurvyconnection.webs.com website is still on line, but action has apparently shifted to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/twincitiescurvyconnection/ . Unfortunately, GRRRR, this Facebook group is a "closed group", so you can't see hardly anything unless you join GRRRRR. The only inkling that the Facebook group is still active (as of 7/16/18) is that it shows 36 posts in the last 30 days, and 9 new members in the last 30 days, for a total of 588 members, so seems reasonably lively. Oh, another thing about Facebook is the difficulty of being anonymous.

    • Single Volunteers of Minneapolis Saint Paul ( https://www.meetup.com/SVMSPMN/ ). Sigh, they used to have a website ( svtconline.org ) but that's gone. Now, like many organizations, they have gotten rid of their website and moved to a Facebook page / group or a meetup group. Much harder to find via regular Google searches, and much information is restricted to people who join. In the case of Singles Volunteers of Minneapolis Saint Paul, they seem to have shifted to the meetup group above. They also have a Facebook page , but that is quite inactive (as of 7/16/18 anyway)

    • Twin Cities Urban Singles Network Facebook Group and Meetup Group (www.meetup.com/tcurbansingles)

  • Tired of hearing about the "marriage penalty"?   Actually, far more married couples get a marriage bonus -- pay less taxes than they would as singles -- than suffer a marriage penalty, according to the Treasury Department, Congressional Budget Office, and Congressional Research Service. When most pairs of singles pay more taxes than they would if married, that is a singles penalty. (mr-index.html)
  • New To Minnesota?

    A Few U.S. and World Resources, particularly dealing with addictions and mental health issues


    Who links to this website?