Since she opened a Cloquet office in mid-August, Saprina Matheny said Paradigm Therapy Services has been busy.

“I think it speaks to the need that we can have that many providers that are busy on a regular basis," she said.

Paradigm Therapy, 1102 Cloquet Ave., offers services to help people who are living with a variety of mental health issues.

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common reasons why people seek mental health care, Matheny said.

An estimated 16 million adults had a depressive episode in the last year, according to figures from the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Minnesota. Furthermore, young adults ages 16-25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people who are 50 years old or older.

There are nine therapists available at Paradigm, all of whom are licensed to practice in Minnesota, Matheny said. Seven of those therapists hold office hours at area schools, including Cloquet High School, Cloquet Middle School and Washington Elementary. They also visit schools in Esko.

While, the service is not free, Paradigm can bill the child’s insurance to help cover some of the costs, Matheny said.

Dave Lee, director of Carlton County Public Health and Human Services, said there is a need for more mental health services in the area.

“We could use a greater number of therapists to reduce wait times and give people more options,” Lee said.

Depression and anxiety are the two most diagnosed mental health conditions, he said. If left untreated, they can complicate work, relationships and school.

If people notice a change in their loved one and suspect the person is suffering from depression, Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota, recommended talking to the person directly.

“Ask them if they are okay," she said. "Tell them you are worried and mention specific changes you have noticed, such as not meeting up with friends like they used to, or focusing on the negative.”

Paradigm also offers diagnostic and trauma assessments, help with behavioral or attention issues; court-ordered programs such as chemical health assessments, anger management groups and co-parenting therapy; parental visitations; family conflict and couples counseling; and a parent educational group.

The parent educational group is open to the public and helps parents learn how to navigate the challenges of parenting children of all ages. Parents learn how to set limits and boundaries as well as how to communicate with their child, Matheny said.

Call 218-302-4901 for more information on Paradigm Therapy Services.

Mental health in Minnesota

  • 1-in-5 Minnesotans face mental illness each year
  • Counties across the state report gaps in mental health needs being met
  • For every dollar invested in cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, the state saves $36.40
  • For every dollar invested in certified peer specialists, the state saves $3.60

Source: Minnesota Department of Human Services

Myths and facts about mental health

Myth: Mental health problems don't affect me.

Fact: Mental health problems are very common. In 2014, about:

  • 1-in-5 adults experienced a mental health issue
  • 1-in-10 young people experienced a period of major depression
  • 1-in-25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression

Myth: Children don't experience mental health problems

Fact: Even very young children can show early warning signs of mental health concerns, and they are often clinically diagnosable.

  • 50% of all mental health disorders show their first signs before a person turns 14 years old
  • 75% of all mental health disorders begin before a person reaches age 24

Myth: People with mental health needs — even those who are managing their illness — cannot tolerate the stress of holding down a job.

Fact: People living with mental health problems are just as productive as other employees. When people receive effective mental health treatment, it results in:

  • Lower overall medical costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Decreased disability costs

Myth: People with mental health problems have personality weaknesses or character flaws. They can snap out of it if they try hard enough.

Fact: Mental health problems have nothing to do with being lazy or weak; and many people need help to get better. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes, physical illness, injury or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, including trauma or a history of abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

Source: U.S. Department of Health Services

To get immediate help

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255

  • Crisis Text Line: Text MN to 741741

  • South St. Louis, Lake, Cook & Carlton counties/Fond du Lac Band: (218) 623-1800 or (844) 772-4742