Announcement Date: July 26, 2018

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Roughly 100 people attended the Minnesota CCBHC Gubernatorial Mental Health Forum on July 26th, 2018 at Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul. The event was co-hosted by BHECON, the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Plans, NAMI Minnesota, MARRCH, the Minnesota Mental Health Legislative Network, the National Council for Behavioral Health and Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

Over the course of a 90-minute agenda, attendees inclusive of behavioral health advocates, state and federal policy-making staff and local constituents heard from a panel of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) who shared how they have been able to improve their service delivery, hire to fill needed positions and increase positive treatment outcomes since the launch of the CCBHC program in 2017. The panel included Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, People Incorporated, Northern Pines Mental Health Center and Northwestern Mental Health Center who make up four of the state’s six CCBHCs. Preceding the panel was a brief overview of the model from the National Council for Behavioral Health

People Incorporated believes that the CCBHC demonstration “is so much more than a demonstration; it’s a philosophy of care. It is a way to approach individuals with a debilitating disease and provide them the care they actually need and actually be able to address all of their needs.” Wilder Foundation is now looking at how they can engage individuals who historically have fallen through the cracks, “so we do not treat them through more expensive means later on.” Northern Pines has been increasing their criminal justice engagement and reducing incarceration rates. Northwestern is changing how they deliver care to their Vermont-sized service area and now has same-day access at their primary clinic location.

Constituents in the audience posed questions and expressed interest in understanding the funding mechanism supporting CCBHCs, how the program integrates with primary care, and whether it is positively impacting recruitment and retention of behavioral health providers.

All Gubernatorial campaigns were invited to participate and representatives from four campaigns were on site: Lieutenant Governor Candidate and State Representative Erin May Quade (DFL), Lieutenant Governor Candidate and State Representative Peggy Flanagan (DFL), Lieutenant Governor Candidate James Mellin, and Gubernatorial Candidate Ole Savior. In a moderated panel, the four candidates responded to questions on mental health parity, addressing the workforce shortage and historical lack of funding for behavioral health, integrating mental health in schools, addressing the nexus of criminal justice and behavioral health and increasing access in the communities most in need of services.

Representative May Quade gave opening remarks recounting her own experience with a mental health issue and highlighted that, while she could afford and receive treatment, many Minnesotans struggle to get the insurance coverage and access they need. Representative Flanagan remarked that while it is often referred to as a “behavioral health system,” there would have to be a functioning system in place to warrant that label and more investment needs to be made to ensure the services that are needed are available.

Watch the Facebook Live Re-Broadcast through NAMI Minnesota’s Facebook page here.

Re-cap with the @BHECONnetwork Twitter moment here.

Download the Minnesota CCBHC Fact Sheet here.