Mental Health Conference Oct. 23 will feature meteorologist Ken Barlow

The 16th Annual Twin Cities Jewish Community Conference on Mental Health, “Forecast: Resilience – Weathering Life’s Storms,” will be held 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at Temple Israel (2324 Emerson Ave. S., Minneapolis).


The event, which is free and open to all, will feature a keynote address from Ken Barlow, an award-winning meteorologist with KSTP-TV. In late 2012, Ken began speaking publicly about living with bipolar disorder. Since that time, he has been actively involved – locally and nationally – in efforts to raise awareness of bipolar and other mental health issues.


In addition to the keynote address, the conference will offer two breakout sessions of workshops with 21 topics to choose from, covering mental health issues affecting youth to people in the later stages of life. Workshop topics include dementia, mindfulness, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, feelings of guilt, first-episode psychosis and many more. The event will also include a resource fair with free educational materials and books on mental health and addiction available for purchase.


Ken Barlow

Ken has a long history in television in Minnesota. After 16 years at KARE-11, he left the state in 2006 to work at WBZ-TV in Boston and then KXTV in Sacramento. He returned to Minnesota in 2011 to join the KSTP-TV weather team and currently serves as morning chief meteorologist. He’s been nationally recognized for excellence in his field, winning multiple Emmy Awards for his work in Minnesota and Boston. Ken also served as an adjunct professor of broadcast meteorology at St. Cloud State.


Ken and his wife, Theresa, worked with Mayo Clinic to create a brochure and video for newly diagnosed bipolar patients and their families. Ken received the Paul Wellstone Advocacy Award from the Minnesota Psychiatric Society and has been named to the International Bipolar Foundation’s Consumer Advisory Board. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of NAMI-MN (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and the Minnesota Mental Health Community Foundation, and is on the Park Nicollet Foundation’s Steering Committee for Children’s Mental Health.


The Mental Health Education Project (MHEP) presents the Annual Conference on Mental Health. MHEP is a collaborative program of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) and Jewish Family Service of St. Paul (JFS). It strives to raise awareness of mental health issues, provide support for individuals and families, offer education on topics affecting all ages, and develop training for people who work with mental health issues.


Registration for the conference can be completed online or by mail. To register online, click here. To register by mail, call JFS at 651-698-0767 to request a conference brochure and registration form. Everyone who registers by Oct. 7 will receive a box lunch at no charge.


Film screening


black_23In addition to the Mental Health Conference, JFCS and JFS – along with the MSP Film Society – are also sponsoring a screening of the new documentary film, Look At Us Now, Mother! at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at the St. Anthony Main Theatre (115 SE Main St, Minneapolis). Filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum will participate in a Q&A session following the screening and a meet-the-filmmaker reception.


“Look At Us Now, Mother!” takes the viewer along on a brave mother-daughter journey, in an effort to understand emotional abuse and whether it can ultimately be forgiven…The result is a heart-wrenching–and, ultimately, heartwarming–story of acceptance and forgiveness.The New York Times