So, starting where I should have…. the blog name. What’s up with that? Why name it “hot dish?” Well for those of you who know MN, we LOVE hot dish. In my family, we called it casserole, but the rest of my co-workers demanded that it be called hot dish because that is what they call it.  But anyway, why the name overall? It’s about our CULTURE! Minnesotans have a culture that encompasses every season, including winter. Minnesotans like to hunt, ice skate, ski, snowboard, ice fish, 4 wheel, go to the north shore, watch the leaves change colors and celebrate outside in the freezing cold by hunting for the medallion – we used to have ice castles, those were awesome too. The point is, that when it’s cold we want a hot dish… which usually includes some form of cream of mushroom soup mixed with some other stuff like tater tots or beans. It sounds gross to the rest of the world, but it’s awesome to us. I should throw out that there are some Minnesotans that find it disgusting, but for the most part it is well received.

In a hot dish, you will find a mix of all kinds of things that you would normally not think would taste all that great together, but they do! And one of the coolest things about MN is the blend of people, cultures, and activities. Minnesota is full of people from different counties and other states and St. Paul has a large community of people in recovery. How this ended up happening I am not sure, but people come from all over the country to go to treatment here… and in the end, they don’t leave. I know people that threaten to move regularly but never do. I am sorry to all of you who migrated to Minnesota, but you will more than likely never leave. Sorry?

I don’t know too much about other states and their recovery, but what I hear is – if you want to be sober, go to Minnesota.  MRC (MN Recovery Connection) has just executed an entire month celebration for National Recovery Month (September). They put on walks, games, activities, speakers and discuss the importance of recovery in our state. Heck, several of our political offices are held by people in recovery. If you are in recovery.. this is a pretty happening place. I like knowing that our fellowship is strong. There are meetings for anyone, looking to recover from anything- and not all are 12 step. You can truly find anything you want related to support in Minnesota. Our services for mental health and treatment are everywhere, and out in the rural areas where they might be missing out, we are building more. Minnesota isn’t all glitz and glamour, but we have everyone beat in recovery. (If that is a healthy thing to say? Probably not.)

In regards to addiction, we have that too. Which is what we want less of, but we are all fighting the battle to change that. I’m not attempting to change the mood here, but it’s a reality and it’s a problem for the entire nation right now- has been for a long time. But I can safely say that there are many people out there trying to change things, create prevention plans and assist others to find help. One of the biggest issues that we see with adolescents is denial. Kids and families struggle to grasp the fact that there might be a problem. It is a scary thing to admit, but a lot of people end up with addictions, and a lot of people find recovery. Our programs work with high schools, prevention coalitions in the metro area, attend educational conferences and speak at events to educate families and communities. As a community, Minnesotans want to help people and this is why so many people come here. We have all kinds of supportive services. In this sense, I am proud to say that I work in Minnesota as a behavioral health professional – we truly believe in what we do. In conclusion..I am tempted to spell out the total layout of the name, but I think you get it.

PS: Just so we are all aware- I would like to note of the awesomeness that is the name, thank you. (as well as the cheesiness).

Begrudgingly, I will also have to make a formal acknowledgment to those who helped to name.. .I wasn’t alone.. so I can’t take full credit. But the complete selfish dork in me wants to.