Change to Chill offers free, culturally-specific virtual sessions to promote mental well-being among teens in Hennepin County

For more information, contact: Tim Burke, 651-409-3030

MINNEAPOLIS (November 2, 2020) — Allina Health’s teen mental well-being initiative, Change to Chill (CTC), is partnering with Hennepin County Public Health to promote free virtual sessions to teens and parents throughout Hennepin County. These sessions will be led by community representatives and culturally diverse mental health providers and healers, highlighting enhanced Change to Chill content to offer more culturally inclusive resources for youth and parent populations most impacted by COVID-19.

The uncertainty of COVID-19 has taken a toll on the mental health and well-being of students, families and staff throughout our region. As infection numbers rise and schools determine the best course of action, students, families and school staff are all reporting higher rates of mental distress. Though all have been affected, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, Latinx and LGTBQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Intersexed, Agender, Asexual and Ally community) populations. With these populations already vulnerable to greater mental health disparities resulting from systemic injustices, Change to Chill has partnered with Hennepin County using CARES Act funding to create a space for teens, parents and staff to gather and receive guidance from leaders in their communities.

“It is exciting to see Allina Change to Chill use CARES Act funding to extend its reach to communities disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, shares Nita Kumar, PhD, LMFT, LPCC, Director of Mental Health Services for Anoka-Hennepin Schools who will also help lead some of the virtual sessions. “While their tools and resources are intended for broad use, Allina is being intentional in its efforts to reach communities that may not otherwise have access to relevant mental wellness resources and is doing so in a manner that is sensitive to unique community needs.”    

The 60-minute virtual sessions will cover general topics like identifying stressors, coping with change, grief, and anxiety, with a particular focus on issues impacting teen mental health specific to each identified community. Contract community consultants from the respective populations along with community mental health providers and healers will lead these sessions, sharing resources and offering support to students and parents alike. Participants will learn different strategies for having conversations with teens and adults about mental health as well as coping techniques to better manage stress and other changes brought about by and exacerbated by COVID-19. Although facilitators will be using adapted Change to Chill resources, these sessions are designed by the community for the community and each session will be unique. In addition to the virtual trainings, Change to Chill will work with community consultants to translate and adapt existing content and create new resources to support identified and ongoing community needs. 

The 10 online sessions will take place between November 9 - December 10, 2020 at 7 PM CST.

Hennepin County School Staff and Community Partners:

  •  Monday, November 9: School staff and Community Partners

Hennepin County Parents, Guardians and Caregivers:

  •  Tuesday, November 10: ALL Parents/Caregivers
  • Tuesday, November 17: Parents/Caregivers of Latinx youth
  • Tuesday, December 1: Parents/Caregivers of Native American youth
  • Tuesday, December 8: Parents/Caregivers of Black/African American youth

Hennepin County Youth (age: 13 – 18 years):

  • Thursday, November 12: ALL youth
  • Thursday, November 19: Latinx youth
  • Thursday, December 3: Native American youth
  • Monday, December 7: LGBTQIA+ youth
  • Thursday, December 10: Black/African American youth

View the full schedule and sign up for one or more of the virtual sessions at

To learn more, email or visit

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services.