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Minnesota children get a boost for mental health

State gets $12 million grant for children’s mental health programs

6/27/2017 9:52:52 AM

For media inquiries only
Sarah Berg
A new federal grant will help make mental health services for Minnesota children more coordinated, community-focused, and collaborative.
The four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supports an approach called “systems of care,” which relies on linking and expanding community-based services to keep kids at home and in school. 
“Minnesota is taking the next step so children and their families can get the help they need,” said Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “Coordinating systems will have a deep, sustainable impact. It would be hard to overestimate the benefits.”
Minnesota is one of eight states to receive the grant, which builds on 24 years of experience since SAMHSA first began to explore the systems of care approach. Systems of care focuses on coordination between agencies that serve children and expansion of proven, innovative services. 
Minnesota’s grant will help mental health services better serve children and their families, offering community-based services to support their success. Services tailored to each child will be better connected across agencies. The grant also includes training and workforce development and new services, such as piloting a new model to keep kids in school and out of the juvenile justice system. 
DHS will launch the grant in collaboration with the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Minnesota), the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health, Wilder Research and the University of Minnesota. DHS worked with multiple partners to develop the systems of care effort, including the state departments of Corrections, Education, and Health. 
Thirty-six counties, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the University of Minnesota, child-serving collaboratives and community and advocacy organizations will pilot systems of care across the state. The grant begins on Sept. 30 and runs until 2021. Planning and development is already underway. 
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