FamilyMeans February Newsletter

FamilyMeans February Newsletter

Feb 21, 2024


Caregiving and Aging Banner

Living with Parkinson's Disease Class Starting in April

Throughout the year, our Caregiving & Aging Team hosts numerous support groups, classes, group respite outings, and more. Starting in April, we will be hosting an 8-week series, "Shaping Your Tomorrow: Living with Parkinson's Disease", designed to meet the needs of both the persons living with Parkinson's Disease and a family member or support person. Each week will introduce specific topics for education, planning for the future, and learning from others on a similar journey.

Shaping Your Tomorrow Provides:

  • A supportive learning environment to gain knowledge and ask questions
  • A chance to talk with others about your experience
  • Resources and information to help plan and build confidence
  • An opportunity to Shape Your Tomorrow Living with Parkinson's Disease Space still available. For more information, please contact Jenny West, Caregiving & Aging Community Educator, at or 651-789-4015.

Wednesdays, April 10 - May 29, 2024 (8-week series)
10am - 11:30am | Hosted at FamilyMeans

Click HERE for the printable flyer

Youth Development Banner

Winter Fun at Cimarron Youth Program

Kids doing a cooking activityParticipants in our Youth Development Program at Cimarron have been having a very busy winter! At Kidspace, ages 5-12, we have been finding ways to keep busy both inside and out. Although there is little snow, sledding has been a favorite activity for the youth to release extra energy after school. Inside, we are learning more about nutrition with local members of 4-H who have been hosting monthly culinary activities with us! See photo that shows youth preparing fruit for a snack.

We have also experimented with new art projects such as salt paintings that help bring creativity and color into the space. Starting early February, we will have an artist from COMPAS teach the youth storytelling through puppetry

In search of trailer to support the youth bike program!

Bike Trailer Needed as a donationFamilyMeans Youth Development is looking for an in-kind donation of a trailer similar to the one pictured (6 x 12 Carry-On Utility Solid Side Trailer). This used but good condition trailer will haul bikes behind our bus for our Summer Bike Club. Driving younger youth to bike paths and safe areas helps them stay away from traffic hazards, however at the moment we do not have a way to safely transport the bikes. Contact Melena Nord at 651-789-4029 or

Financial Solutions Banner

What is the difference between debt consolidation & a debt management program?

Debt consolidation loans and debt management plans are both debt relief options that aim to help you lessen what you owe and get a handle on your monthly payments, but is one better than the other? Our certified credit counselors, along with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, say YES!

Debt Consolidation
involves opening up a new credit card or loan to pay off your debt. With this method, you roll your existing debt into a new account with a lower annual percentage rate, reducing the overall interest charges you have to pay. According to the NFCC, this option may not be available if your credit score is low as you will not be able to qualify for lower rates on a new account.

Debt Management Plans (DMPs)
involve a structured plan to pay off your debt with direction and support from a certified credit counselor. With a DMP, the consumer is able to consolidate debts without opening another line of credit or taking out a loan. People who sign up for a DMP make one lump payment each month to the agency who then sends those funds directly to their creditors. A DMP may help:

  • Reduce interest rates
  • Stop late and over-limit fees
  • Lower monthly payments
  • Pay off debt in fewer than five years

Both debt consolidation and debt management plans give you the luxury of having fewer accounts to make payments towards, however, a debt management plan offers you the comfort and security of knowing someone else has your back and will ensure that you are on the right path to financial freedom.

FamilyMeans Financial Solutions offers a debt management program. Our certified credit counselors are ready to help you get back on track with your finances! Interested in learning more about our Debt Management Program or scheduling a free budget and debt counseling session? Click HERE or call 800-780-2890.

Counseling and Therapy Banner

Counseling & Therapy Sees Increased Support Needs

In 2023, Counseling & Therapy saw a 4% increase in the number of clients served, and an 8% increase in the number of sessions provided compared to 2022. In addition, the Center for Grief & Loss in St. Paul has been able to cut wait list time by 25%.

Our ability to serve more individuals with more sessions can be attributed to the increase in staffing over the last year. We have been fortunate enough to find excellent clinicians who appreciate and value the mission and services provided at FamilyMeans, along with interns who have grown into positions here with us.

Erin Rowlson, Counseling & Therapy Clinical Director says "The increase in both clients served and services provided really means to me that we are reaching people who need mental health support. People's mental health is so important on a daily basis and to know we are providing such important services to children, teens, and adults really warms my heart. I am truly honored to be working alongside my entire clinical team".

Learn more about a few of our clinical staff!

Leah Scribner, MS, LAMFTLeah Scribner, MS, LAMFT
Leah uses a family-systems-based approach to support families and individuals through life transitions and developmental changes. She uses a strength-based and collaborative approach, focusing on the client's cultural and religious beliefs.
"I love my role as a FM Therapist because it allows me to witness the incredible strengths and solutions that people in our community possess, and to see their progress and growth as they discover themselves".

Michael Casale, MAMichael Casale, MAT
Michael uses a client-centered, humanistic approach, while keeping careful consideration of cultural concerns and practices. Michael has experience working with anxiety, depression, trauma-related diagnoses, and other life experiences in all life stages.
"I love my role as a FM Therapist because I enjoy helping clients engage in a better self, discover ways to reach their goals, and provide hope when it was in question".

For a link to all our therapist bios click here:
Clinical & School-Based Therapists
Center for Grief & Loss Therapists

"My hope for this coming year is to be able to provide more services to clients, continue to be a 'workplace of choice' for clinicians, and to create new and innovative ways to support mental health to the larger community as a whole; not just through counseling but through education and support as well" says Erin.

FamilyMeans Counseling & Therapy program provides outpatient counseling in Stillwater, Hudson, St. Paul, and online via telehealth. We also provide school-based counseling in 14 local schools. Learn more at or by calling 651-439-4840.

Get Involved with Family Means

Join the FamilyMeans Team!

FamilyMeans is currently accepting applications for:

FamilyMeans offers competitive pay and benefits such as health and dental insurance, 403(b) retirement plan, and paid time off to eligible employees.

Our mission is to strengthen communities by helping individuals and families through challenges in all life stages. FamilyMeans envisions vibrant and resilient communities where everyone lives to their fullest potential. Our work is life’s challenges. A career with FamilyMeans provides an opportunity to enrich your professional life while working alongside colleagues who share a vision of making changes in people’s lives through high quality services. We strive to provide the highest quality of care for our clients as well as work-life experience for our employees

FamilyMeans Board of Directors

Melissa Harris, Chair | Bob Clark, Vice Chair | Peter Matzek, Treasurer | Josh Zignego, Secretary

Brian Gunderson, Past Chair | Lindsay Belland | Carmen Colombo | Anu Green | Marissa Kropp

Mike Lyner | Jessica Meletiou | Rajean Moone, PhD | Matthew Salisbury

Clark Schroeder | James Kroening, President & CEO

1875 Northwestern Ave S | Stillwater, Minnesota 55082
651 439 4840 |

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