Minnesota HELP Resources (minnhelp.html)

Direct: http://www.green5.org/minnhelp.html
Updated 12/25/12

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 very 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!

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:

  • A Few U.S. and World Resources, particularly dealing with addictions and mental health issues 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 ( http://www.MinnesotaHelp.info )

    MinnesotaHelp.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( http://www.mentalhealthmn.org/find-support/resource-list/support-groups-activity-centers/all-support-groups )

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

    Idealist.org / Minnesota ( http://www.idealist.org - Then search for Minnesota )

    This is a very exhaustive listing of a wide variety of social service and self-help organizations. Type Minnesota in the Search Box to find a very impressive listing of organizations in Minnesota. Worldwide, http://www.idealist.org lists 20,000 organizations in 140 countries. 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 "Meetings" 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 - Resources page

    The Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health - Resources page at http://www.macmh.org/resources.html has several local and national mental health organizations (not limited to parents and children)

    About.com's Minnesota Mental Health

    The About.com's Minnesota Mental Health at http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/us/blminnesota.htm has an extensive listing of resources.

    NAMI - National Association of Mentally Ill -- Minnesota Resources

    The NAMI - National Association of Mentally Ill -- Minnesota Resources at http://mn.nami.org/Resources.html is a very huge listing

    Minnesota Resources from the National Mental Health Information Center

    Minnesota Resources from the National Mental Health Information Center at http://www.mentalhealth.org/publications/allpubs/stateresourceguides/minnesota01.asp -- another huge listing.

    Regional Web Directories - Twin Cities, Minnesota, 5-state

    Search for things like: anonymous recovery survivor "support group". Or browse through relevant categories.

    HELP: This listing of regional web directories has thinned out. Please let me know of any other directories like the below, which lists all kinds of businesses and organizations in Minnesota or the Twin Cities. Please email Jim L at jalars (atsign) compuserve.com

    Yahoo! Twin Cities ( http://minn.yahoo.com )

    Yahoo! Minnesota ( http://dir.yahoo.com/Regional/U_S__States/Minnesota/ )

    Digital City - Twin Cities ( http://home.digitalcity.com/twincities/webguide/ ). Warning: this web site is almost entirely commercial. Try the Health link and then click on the "Support Groups" link, but note that almost all of the so-called support groups are clinics and expensive treatment programs. They do have the decency to list Alcoholics Anonymous though.

    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 )

    mamma.com Meta-search (meta-search means that it submits its search to several search engines). ( www.mamma.com ).

    Meetups.com Meetup groups of all kinds, by city

    Meetup.com. Click the Meetups By City tab. All kinds of groups from support groups to book clubs to single parenting to singles groups... But many groups form up and disappear a few months later because they can't generate enough contributions to meet meetup.com's $144 / year group listing fee as of 10/12/06. (10/12/06: $19 for 1 month, $45 for 3 months, $72 for 6 months).

    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/meetings1.html#mn ) 8/18/07: Per above website there is one meeting in the Twin Cities (1) Wednesday, 12 noon, Fairview Riverside Hospital, South Minneapolis. More detailed information about this meeting is at the above link.

  • 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 manic-depression--whether they have the illness or care about someone who does.

      Metro-area twice-monthly meetings (1/4/10) in Eagan, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Mounds View, St. Louis Park, St. Paul (Highland Park), and Woodbury. Greater Minnesota meetings in Albany, Crosby, Rochester, St. Cloud, and Walker

      There is no local (Twin Cities or Minnesota) web page. However, the Mental Health Association of Minnesota lists all DBSA meetings in Minnesota. Go to www.mentalhealthmn.org and then click on the 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: http://www.dbsalliance.org/supportmap_results.asp?id=MN. .

      The national Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance page is at http://www.dbsalliance.org/

    • Bipolar and other mental illnesses - The Icarus Project (Not affiliated with DBSA) (source: D. Shove newsletter 10/2006. Below up-to-date as of 8/18/07) The Icarus Project holds a weekly support group for people living with bipolar disorder and other mental illness. The group meets every Wednesday at 7pm at Arise Bookstore. For more information about the Icarus Project, check out: http://theicarusproject.net/ . For more information about the event or the Minneapolis group, please contact us at: icarusmpls (at) gmail.com

    • Reach Family Support Groups - Support groups for families and friends of individuals with a mental illness or neurological disability. For meeting locations, go to www.mentalhealthmn.org and click on the SUPPORT GROUPS link

    • Recovery International / Abraham Low Self-Help Systems (formerly Recovery Inc.), A non-profit volunteer-led cognitive mental health program. (www.lowselfhelpsystems.org) FFI: Wikipedia article Meeting locations: Metro - area weekly meetings in South Minneapolis, St. Paul, Robbinsdale, and Burnsville. Greater Minnesota meetings - just one, in Rochester. For up-to-date meeting locations see http://www.lowselfhelpsystems.org/meetings/find-a-meeting.asp

    • Anxiety Support - Open Door Outreach - A support group for people with anxiety/panic disorder (http://www.anxietysupport.net) 3 metro-area biweekly meetings - St. Paul and St. Louis Park.     9/2006 Announcement: Open Door Outreach has merged with NAMI MN (National Alliance for Mental Illness - Minnesota NAMI Minnesota ). NAMI's list of Open Door Anxiety Support Groups

  • Some Chemical Dependency Resources Not Listed Elsewhere

    • Addiction recovery radio (Twin Cities), The Next Step www.nextstepradio.com - it used to air on AM 950,  the Twin Cities progressive talk radio station. Unfortunately Next Step Radio stopped broadcasting June 2008, but you can listen to archived shows (MP3) at the above Next Step link.

    • 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.
              Three Federal Courts of Appeals (Second, Seventh, and Ninth circuits) and Two State Supreme Courts (New York and Tennessee) have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are religious 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: Court rulings other than the 9th Circuit and 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals Ruling (Inouye v. Kemna)
        • Avoid groups that meet at the larger Alano Clubs -- they tend to be more dogmatic and try to enforce conformity.
        • 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 As of 8/2007 There are supposedly 2 established meetings in the Twin Cities (Minnetonka and Anoka) and one in St. Cloud. Try these links: http://sossobriety.org/meetings/states.htm#Minnesota -or- http://cfiwest.org/sos/find.htm Also about 10 people, each in different zip codes (3 metro area and 7 non-metro) are trying to start meetings in their areas (for what areas / zip codes see the above link) -- it said to call the National clearinghouse number - (323) 666-4295 or email or sos@cfiwest.org for how to get in contact with those people.

        The below is one that was found to be meeting 8/2008, along with detailed instructions on how to get there. You should check the above sossobriety.org link for the latest information, but on 8/2008 the contact phone number below is more accurate than what is on the sossobriety.org web site.

        Minnetonka Westside Group - Friday 730 p.m.
        River Ridge Treatment Center
        Highwood Office Building, Suite 150
        15612 Highway 7,
        Contact Eric 612-720-4683
           (Note: the following number is no longer valid: 612-720-6991 )

        Directions: Coming from 494 and Hiway 7: Go west on Hiway 7 and past the first set of stop lights (which is Williston Road). The Highwood Office Building is about 1/4 mile west of Williston Road. It is on the right side of Hiway 7 (i.e. the north side of Hiway 7) and just to the west of Christo's Restaurant (Christo's Restaurant is just to the west of Davani's). The entrance to the Riverwood Treatment Center is on the north side of the Highwood Office Building. The phone number for the River Ridge Treatment Center is 952-936-0304 (though whoever was there answering that phone was not aware of the S.O.S. meeting).

      • SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) - a cognitive approach based on Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Therapy 8/18/07: Meetings in Edina (Muscala Chemical Health Clinic), Mankato, and Fergus Falls. I have my doubts that there are any meetings at the Muscala Chemical Health Clinic - I couldn't get my phone message returned after leaving calls on 2 different occasions. www.smartrecovery.org/meetings_db/view/

      • 16-Step Sobriety Circle http://www.meetup.com/16-Step-Recovery-Group/
        Currently (12/2012) meeting every Monday at 7 p.m. at Sebastian Joe's (but check the above meetup.com link to be sure)
        4321 Upton Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN (a couple blocks west of Lake Harriet)
             Note: don't worry if nobody has "RSVP'd" at the meetup.com link that you may find on the Events Calendar for this group - nobody bothers 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.
             4/28/10 note: Another number to try is "Alice" at 612-866-4550 -- that is the number listed in the February 2010 Phoenix Newspaper for this organization. For more on 16-step empowerment, in www.google.com, search for "16-step empowerment" (include the quotes). There might be more 16-Step groups in the Twin Cities, although in July 2009, the long-time facilitator of the LHSC 16-Step group said this is the only one.
             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.

      • Chemical Health Concepts / AA Alternatives The Muscala Chemical Health Clinic/AA Alternatives has a variety of meetings on Thursday, beginning at 6:00pm. Depending on the interest of the attendees, there may one or more of the following: Rational Recovery, S.M.A.R.T. Recovery, and Moderation Management. The clinic is at 4010 West 65th Street (a couple of blocks west of France Ave.), Suite 102, in Edina, Minnesota. For more information, Call 952-922-3392. 8/18/07 update: - I'm not sure they are still holding meetings that non-clients can attend, I left a voice message 8/16 ... let me know what you find or don't find

      • Moderation Management, Minnesota (for people who wish to reduce their drinking, as well as for those who decide to abstain) As of 7/8/14 there apparently is one in Minnesota -- in St. Paul 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 (e.g. e-mail mailing lists), see www.moderation.org and look at the Online Support section.

        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 (8/2008) they are listed at the Minneapolis A.A. website in the "Minneapolis, Southwest" section as the "Equinox" and "Solstice" groups, meeting at the Eye of Horus bookstore 2717 Lyndale Avenue S. But check the Minneapolis A.A. website (aaminneapolis.org) for the latest information
  • Orange Papers - Why some people seek alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programs www.orange-papers.org - This is a very comprehensive web site on these issues, particularly whether these organizations are not only spiritual, but religious as well.

  • 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.

  • Buddhism / Mindfulness for 12 Step Program Participants

  • Some Secular / Humanist / Atheist Resources Not Mentioned Elsewhere

  • Some Singles Resources Not Listed Elsewhere

    This is a fairly weak listing. The http://www.singlesonthego.com/msp/ is the closest thing I know of to a comprehensive WEB directory of Minnesota singles groups and resources, and it doesn't list very many groups.

    I am eager to know of any more comprehensive web directories. Please email me at JALARS (atsign) COMPUSERVE.COM

  • New To Minnesota?

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

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