Mental health advocates are planning a day of awareness at the Minnesota State Fair on Monday.
Mental Health Awareness Day at the fair will include music, performances, discussions and other presentations at the Dan Patch Park and Stage from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The idea was pushed by Dave Lee, the director of Carlton County's Public Health and Human Services Department who sits on the Governor's State Advisory Council on Mental Health. Lee said the fair is the perfect setting to get more people to talk about the issue.
"Being a positive, uplifting environment — people are open to new ideas," he said. "They're open to new experiences. They're having a great time. It matches well with what we hope people will take away."
Lee said he hopes the event will help to erode the stigma that's still attached to mental health issues.
"I think it's an opportunity to talk about and find out more (about) what can we all do to improve our own mental health and the mental health of those around us," he said.
Meanwhile, the state council is expected to provide a host of recommendations to address mental health issues in Minnesota ahead of the next legislative session.