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Addiction and mental illness: Help MinnPost shine a light

MinnPost plans to launch a new mental health and addiction beat this fall written by Sarah T. Williams and we need to raise another $10,000 in 10 days.

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When MinnPost launched less than six years ago, our primary mission was to fill gaps in serious news and analysis caused by declining resources in mainstream media.

That mission has touched a responsive chord, generating traffic of more than a million page views per month, 65,000 regular readers and financial support from more than 4,000.

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Today, we ask for your help in filling the gap in thoughtful coverage of mental health and addiction issues. These issues affect a huge number of Minnesota families. They are too often ignored by the media until tragedy strikes. They need the light of open discussion and rational community dialogue.

To help shine this light, MinnPost plans to launch a new mental health and addiction beat this fall written by Sarah T. Williams. A longtime reporter and editor at the Star Tribune, Williams later worked in communications for Planned Parenthood and Hazelden.

To cover writing, editing and other costs of a half-time beat, MinnPost needs to raise $50,000 a year. We already have pledges from generous donors totaling $30,000 a year for three years. But that leaves us with a $20,000 gap to fill to start the beat…and we have a $10,000 MinnPost Board match to help.

Please help us raise $10,000 in the next ten days. Donations of $10 or more are welcome. So are donations of $1,000. If we raise more than $10,000, any additional funds will support the second year of the beat.

Just $10,000 in ten days. With your help we can do it.

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Update: Here are some reasons our readers are choosing to support the coverage of these important issues. We’ll be posting more comments as they come in. 

Little steps in knowledge help to create agents of change. 
Philip Monson, Duluth, in honor of Al

My 19 year old son, Sam, died of an accidental opiate overdose in 2007. He lived with addiction, depression, and anxiety. Until we get over the stigma of these illnesses, people will continue to lose their lives, not getting the help that they so desperately need. Kudos to MinnPost!!! 
Linda Peterson, Saint Paul, in memory of Samuel John Peterson

Thank you for taking the lead on this critically important subject. Again, an indication of what a valuable service you provide in your thoughtful coverage of what is happening in the Twin Cities and in Greater Minnesota. 
A supporter in Cold Spring, MN

The campaign is a great idea, long needed, looking forward to the coverage though we live far from MinnPost territory.
Stuart Braman, Port Washington, NY

Mental health issues and addiction seem way more widespread then is commonly reported. I look forward to seeing what MinnPost will add to the illumination of the issue.
David Washburn, Stillwater

Finally! THANK YOU so very much!! Thanks to Don Shelby, as well, for being on the front line for marketing this very important campaign. I’ve always admired his openness about his own struggle with Addiction. Along with so many others, author, David Sheff will be so very glad to learn about MinnPost’s campaign.
Glenda Noble, Waconia, in honor of grandson, Jacob, and all those family members who have come before him

Has mental illness or addiction touched your life? Please tell us about it in the comment section below.