Greater State of Mind

region v+

Working Together to Understand Mental Health Resources in our Region

Greater State of Mind: Addressing Mental Health in Central Minnesota is a collaborative project for Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties and the Leech Lake Band and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribal Nations.

From June to September 2021, we invited leaders in local government, tribes, schools, community organizations, and mental health care providers in our central-Minnesota region to participate in a mental health needs assessment to understand the state of child and adult mental health in our regionavailability, accessibility, accommodation, affordability, and awareness.

Project Overview & Objective

This is a mental health needs assessment; a region-wide health assessment that uses data collection and analysis to identify key mental health needs, issues, and community resources.

Each county receives a report that summarizes its unique findings, plus recommendations with proposed action plans for improving access to mental health resources. It is our hope that the findings will drive strategic planning and collaboration in addressing regional mental health.

Who’s involved?

We coordinated this assessment project with guidance from a cross-functional Advisory Group. The Center for Behavioral Health Integration, LLC (C4BHI), is facilitating data collection and analysis. The project is supported and funded by Sourcewell, our regional service cooperative, with participation from local leaders and direct-services staff in our region who provide mental health care or work at a key community organization.

Who’s on The Greater State of Mind Advisory Group?

You might know someone on our Advisory Group. This group helps us plan and will help share the findings. These people represent the key stakeholders in the mental health service community and can represent the needs of the towns and counties in which they work.

  • Kami Genz, Aitkin County, Community Corrections Director
  • Kara Griffin, Crow Wing County, Programs Manager
  • Tami Lueck, Crow Wing County, Adult Services Division Manager
  • Michael Steinbeisser, Todd County, Social Services Supervisor
  • Jim Exsted, Baxter Police Department, Chief
  • Cheryl Turcotte, Minnesota Office of the Ombudsman, Ombudsman
  • Duffy Craft, Artesian Homes, General Manager
  • Melissa George-Humphrey, Leech Lake Behavioral Health-Human Services, Clinical Director
  • Kevin Edwards, Northern Pines Mental Health Center, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team
  • Dr. David Anderholm, Northern Psychiatric Associates, Psychiatrist
  • Charitie Herbst, Sourcewell, Community Solutions
  • Danielle Wadsworth, Sourcewell, Regional Contract Specialist & Region 5+ AMHI Program Coordinator
  • Mike Willie, Sourcewell, Regional Transitional Specialist
  • Lisa Worden, Sourcewell, School Liaison


The best way to learn more is to ask good questions. Here are some we’ve heard and answered so far.

A mental health needs assessment refers to a state, tribal, or local health assessment that identifies key mental health needs, issues, and community resources available using data collection and analysis. A mental health needs assessment can benefit the community in many ways. It reveals the strengths, gaps, and opportunities for resources. The findings drive strategic planning, collaboration, and addressing regional mental health.

C4BHI used a mixed-method mental health needs assessment approach with surveys, qualitative interviews, and focus groups. In addition, they’ll use secondary data from local, state, and national data sources.

Your privacy and the privacy of your consumers is important to us.

All surveys will be collected using a secure platform that complies with the federal law restricting release of medical information (HIPAA). Provider and leadership surveys will be de-identified and reported in aggregate. Consumer surveys will be anonymous, with no identifying information collected.

For focus groups and interviews, we will not use names or identities in any of our reports. Only combined results from everyone we talk to will be presented.

We want to ensure we give credit to your company or organization for participating in this project. We will use company or organization names (not individuals’ names) only. If you prefer that we do not acknowledge your company’s or organization’s participation, please let us know.

The data will be used in aggregate. All data will be analyzed to identify the mental health needs and challenges of the consumers. The data will inform the strengths and weaknesses of mental health services. An action plan to address the needs identified will be prepared and presented to the community.

The reports and action plans developed for this work will focus on recommended improvements for the mental health system overall, not for any individual provider, program, or service. Your contributions will help us determine the needs and gaps in services so the more information we can gather from you the more specific and actionable our recommendations will be.

This project has been a wish list item for us for many years. Our region’s county health and human services directors have also wanted a formal mental health needs assessment for quite some time and have attempted to review gaps in our mental health services for several years with varying degrees of success. We want to understand the current state of our region to help drive strategic planning.

The questions will assess current services and identify areas of need to best serve community members.

We pulled together a team of mental health experts within our region and across different counties to assist us in guiding the work the Center of Behavioral Health Integration will do. The members are social services supervisors, probation personnel, regional ombudsman, law enforcement, mental health providers, and Sourcewell regional staff.


*Updated Aug. 23, 2022

What’s the latest?
We’re working on hiring a regional Mental Health Coordinator to focus on continuing the important and collaborative work of addressing the gaps identified in last year’s Greater State of Mind Mental Health Needs Assessment. The position will be contracted and managed by Sourcewell with support from the Region V+ Adult Mental Health Initiative (AMHI) and county human services directors.

What’s planned for the near future?
We’re working on finding the right person to serve as the Mental Health Coordinator. The first review of applications began the week of August 22.

When can you expect to hear from us again?
Soon after the Regional Mental Health Coordinator starts in their position; around October 2022.

What can you do in the meantime?
Revisit the assessment results, here.

If you have questions, please email Danielle Wadsworth, Region V+ AMHI Program Coordinator

*Updated March 2, 2022

What’s been done/decided so far?
The Region V+ Adult Mental Health Initiative (AMHI), county human services directors, and Sourcewell are committed to acting on the recommendations from the Greater State of Mind project in some way. Representatives from these three groups continue to meet regularly to determine the best route moving forward.

What’s planned for the near future?
Continued collaboration between AMHI, county human services, and Sourcewell.

When can you expect to hear from us again?
Around July 2022, at the earliest.

What can you do in the meantime?

  • Revisit the assessment results.
  • Make note of your ideas on how to address the identified gaps and/or ways in which you would like to see our mental health system improved.
  • Continue to be an advocate for mental health care in our region.

We are grateful for your willingness to come alongside us in this important work. Thank you for your patience as we work on how we strategically move forward. If you have questions, please email Region V+ AMHI Program Coordinator, Danielle Wadsworth.

Download the Results & Recommendations Presentation (PDF) >
Watch a Recording of the Results & Recommendations Presentations (video)