Winona State University’s Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) partnered with LeadingAge Minnesota to showcase mental health and wellness training programs and resources.

LeadingAge Minnesota held their 2022 Institute and Expo “Momentum!” to support their 1,400 members in the long-term care sector. This sector includes independent senior housing, assisted living, in-home care, adult day services, and skilled nursing.

Winona State University collaborated in highlighting the Mental Health First Aid Program, which WSU has delivered virtually to 58 of their members since June 2021.


It is such a privilege to partner with LeadingAge Minnesota to support their members with the Mental Health First Aid national certification course which promotes self-care and mental wellness strategies within their long-term care environments.

Julie Kiehne

Business Outreach Coordinator, Winona State University


In addition to coordinating the Mental Health First Aid Course, WSU also utilized the expertise of Kate Noelke, Minnesota State Chancellors Fellow for Mental Health, to not only teach the courses, but also create follow-up refresher resources and tools to foster greater understanding of mental health challenges.


The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an emotional and psychological toll on professional caregivers and leaders in our field. Offering the Mental Health First Aid Course is LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation’s way of encouraging peer-to-peer mental health support throughout the state. Through our partnership with WSU, we provide aging services professionals with resources and tools to reduce the stigma of mental health challenges.

Terri Foley

Program Officer, LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation


According to a recent survey conducted by the Long-Term Care Imperative, over 20% of positions in the long-term care field are open. Caring for a vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with an extreme workforce shortage can lead to burnout and mental health crisis for some caregivers.


With 23,000 open caregiver positions across Minnesota, we must do all we can to support the dedicated and compassionate professionals working in our field. It’s vital that we prevent burnout and promote mental health for our caregivers. The LeadingAge Minnesota Foundation is proud of our work with WSU to support our caregivers as they continue to provide safe, quality care for a growing number of Minnesota seniors.

Lori Meyer

Chief Operating Officer, LeadingAge Minnesota


WSU recognizes LeadingAge Minnesota as a vital player supporting the long-term care sector and a major contributor to community viability and wellbeing.  WSU looks forward to growing the partnership to provide more Mental Health First Aid Programming and customized training programs in the future.


About LeadingAge Minnesota

LeadingAge Minnesota is driven to transform and enhance the experience of aging. Together with nearly 60,000 caregivers, their 1,400 members provide quality, compassionate care to 55,000 older adults every day in independent senior housing, assisted living, in-home care, adult day services and skilled nursing settings.

About WSU Adult & Continuing Education

Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) at Winona State University offers a wide range of non-credit and for-credit course offerings to enhance professional development. Whether through online learning, immersive classroom experiences, or hands-on training, Winona State strives to meet student needs so that they can reach their personal and professional goals. For more information on continuing education and workforce customized training opportunities at WSU, contact Julie Kiehne at