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Staff photo by Fritz Busch Participants do yoga at the Shine The Light Suicide Awareness and Prevention event at German Park on Saturday.

NEW ULM – Attendees at the Shine the Light suicide awareness and prevention event were introduced to a number of ways to raise mental health awareness and prevent suicide on Saturday.

The program, organized by Brown County Yellow Ribbon, included class participation in yoga, meditation and kick boxing.

Ulm Medical Center’s newest staff member, Dr. Bryana Andert, spoke about the medical aspects of mental health. Dietician Sue Schommer spoke about the nutritional aspects.

Materials distributed included stress management tips, sunflower seeds, candies, pencils, information on how to respond to calls for help and local mental health resources.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has provided information on managing stress, anxiety, depression, and anger on the farm and in rural settings.

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Former New Ulm resident Michelle Fischer Cartier leads a yoga class during the Shine The Light suicide awareness and prevention event at German Park on Saturday.

“The opportunity to close and say goodbye is sometimes stolen from you”, says Andert. “Sometimes when we think about survivors and loss, we don’t think about what a heavy feeling it is. Unless you have experienced it, you may not fully understand. It’s almost always very unexpected.

Andert said the need for community support is really important to allow people to feel seen and heard.

Andert read a poem called “Wild Goose” by Marie-Olivier:

“You don’t have to be good. You don’t have to walk a hundred miles on your knees through the wilderness, repenting. You just have to let the sweet animal of your body love what it loves.

“Tell me about despair, yours, and I’ll tell you mine.

Staff photo by Fritz Busch After walking on the German Park Bike Path, participants of the Shine the Light suicide awareness and prevention event write messages of hope at Art Wall Park in New Ulm on Saturday.

“Meanwhile, the world goes on. Meanwhile, the sun and the clear pebbles of rain move across the landscapes, over meadows and deep trees, mountains and rivers.

“Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean, blue air, are heading home.

“Whoever you are, however lonely, the world beckons to your imagination, calls to you like wild geese, harsh and exciting – again and again announcing your place in the family of things.”

Schommer said nutrition contributes to physical and emotional health.

“If you think about it, things seem to get worse if you don’t get enough sleep,” Schommer said. “It’s the same if you don’t eat well. We all know that dealing with anxiety and depression is exhausting, for those who experience it and for the supporters.

She said that all food groups bring different nutrients to the table.

“There really aren’t any bad foods. But there are foods we should be eating more often and foods we should be eating less often,” Schommer said. “Eating more fruits and vegetables can make a difference. Getting more omega 3 fatty acids, fish oils and eating breakfast can make a difference.

She said carbohydrates, proteins, multivitamins and minerals are helpful in addition to zinc, magnesium probiotics and prebiotics are important.

Schommer said refined sugar products shouldn’t be eaten as often and can lead to depression and anxiety.

“We all know that eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is difficult,” she added. “We can go into a downward spiral of not eating, sleeping and exercising as well, which makes us more tired.”

Schommer said it’s important for people not to eat for emotional reasons when they’re suffering from depression or anxiety. or some people completely lose their appetite.

“Sometimes you don’t care whether you have good nutrition or not,” she says. “Sometimes it’s small, frequent meals with snacks. Sometimes I encourage people to set a timer every two or three hours. »

She suggested drinking nutritional substitutes if food isn’t an option and eating foods from all food groups.

“If you’re not so good with veggies and fruits, multivitamins and minerals are great for a backup plan, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for fruits and veggies,” Schommer said.

She urged caution with nutritional supplements which she said could interfere with medications.

“Check with your provider first. The other thing is that they can be expensive. If you don’t know if they will work or not, you could lose a lot of money.” Schommer said. “If it sounds too good to be true. It probably is. Give it a try. If it works, great. Otherwise, do not continue to work with it.

Schommer said it’s okay to eat cake or candy every once in a while, but in moderation.

Volunteers are needed by the Brown County Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program. Visit for more information.

If you are having a crisis, call or text 988.

(Fritz Busch can be sent to [email protected])

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