University of Minnesota Alumni Association



What do you think? Send letters and comments to

Kudos on Mental Health

I enjoyed the Summer 2021 issue of Minnesota Alumni [“Suicide Survivor”]. I thought the articles were well curated, well written, and provided an important message to the Alumni community. Well done.

Ross Levin (B.S.B. ’82) Edina, Minnesota

Fantastic edition on mental health. Bravo and congratulations!

Mark Ritchie (M.A. ’13) Minneapolis

Thank you so much for your work and leadership in creating the June Minnesota Alumni magazine. Your decision to focus on mental health is so appreciated.

I particularly enjoyed Shannon Brooks’ story [“The Night of the Train”]. It is so timely and particularly helpful, and I believe his story will ring true for many. His ability to communicate is extraordinary and it touched me personally as my grandson, who is 21 years old, has experienced similar difficulties in the last few years.

And Bruce Arios’ story [“I Saw an Angel”] is so inspiring and uplifting, I presume he is a wonderful and very giving gentleman. He has my admiration and prayers.

I have not finished reading all of the articles, but am so appreciative, I have sent it to many and will save my print copy. It has meant a lot to me. Thank you.

P.S. I had let my alumni dues lapse, but I signed up again, thanks to the magazine.

Barbara Elick, (M.A. ’08) R.N., B.S.N., M.A. Minneapolis

As always, I’ve read Minnesota Alumni from cover to cover and take this opportunity to check in with you, as invited.

My mental health is excellent, thanks to the attention of family and friends around the globe seeking to keep me safe and smiling during the pandemic. And due to the special attention given me by my rescue dog, Charlie.

Thank you for the attention to mental health in the Summer 2021 edition. The articles, from “The Night of the Train” to “Pets and Mental Health” were enlightening and interesting.

My favorable comments about this issue match my interest and pleasure at reading each one.

Thank you,

Sieglinde Gassman (B.A. ’85) Apple Valley, Minnesota

Feedback on ‘Mom, Something’s Really Wrong With Me’

[Ed note: In our Summer 2021 issue, Senior Editor Elizabeth Foy Larsen detailed her episode of major depression during college, and how a caring therapist and the drug Prozac helped her come through it. Below is feedback from another perspective on the subject.]

Prozac, no side effects? SSRIs, like Prozac’s fluoxetine (the otherwise “miraculous” drug’s real name), aren’t that easy with which to deal and cope.

We all as humans [don’t] really understand what fluoxetine does and doesn’t do, to and/or for us.

Thank God it may have worked for you (It saved your life, you said! Congrats!), but it most certainly doesn’t work [that] well [all the time] for the majority of us.

I have to thank God I absolutely declined taking [Prozac] when I was living in the U.S. more than 20 years ago. Today I see that this decision saved my life. (I’ve never shared my “non-experience” with fluoxetine before with anybody. I felt encouraged after I read the excerpt of your memoirs; thank you for sharing them.)

Wander Nunez Frota (Ph.D. ’00) Teresina, Brazil

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