As many as one in four adults in Minnesota reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder in the last 13 months.

In central Minnesota, an effort is underway to ensure individuals facing mental health challenges can get the services, care, and support they need.

Greater State of Mind, a region-wide mental health needs assessment, began in early June. The assessment is specific to Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties and the Leech Lake Band and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribal Nations.

The Region V+ Adult Mental Health Initiative (AMHI) is coordinating the project in collaboration with a 14-member advisory group. An independent research company, the Center for Behavioral Health Integration (C4BHI), will conduct the assessment.

Tami Lueck, Crow Wing County Adult Services Division manager and advisory group member, believes the findings will drive strategic planning and foster collaboration among the region’s health care systems, mental health care providers, local governments, and key community partners.

“It’s the responsibility of the county to support a continuum of mental health care from prevention all the way to acute care,” Lueck said. “We’ll use the findings of this assessment to guide us in that work.”

She says the AMHI has conducted needs assessments in the past, but on a much smaller scale. Having an outside consultant coming in to help allows for a large-scale assessment with greater participation.

The team of consultants from C4BHI will work closely with local mental health care providers, their consumers, and key community partners in schools, tribal nations, public and social services, public safety, and faith-based organizations.

By this fall, each county will receive a report that summarizes its unique findings, plus a customized action plan to improve citizens’ access to mental health care services.

Duffy Craft, general manager of Artesian Homes, a residential care provider, says the findings will help her team meet the needs of consumers.

“Through this project, I am hoping to find areas of improvement for Artesian Homes or additional services that we can provide to fill a need,” Craft said.

Support and funding for the Greater State of Mind project is provided by Sourcewell, the regional service cooperative. Learn more about the project at region5mentalhealth.com

About the Region V+ Adult Mental Health Initiative

The Region V+ Adult Mental Health Initiative (AMHI) serves mental health consumers in Central Minnesota. We are comprised of individuals from Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, Wadena counties, and Leech Lake Band and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribal Nations. The Region V+ Mental Health Initiative is responsible for the identification of mental health service needs and the development of mechanisms for multi-county program development, evaluation, coordination, and implementation, by participating counties or tribal nations, including any other mental health related programs and/or Minnesota Department of Health special project grants.

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