Click here to see the workplan.
Click here for the recommendations.
Click here for the MBOA survey.
The MMHAG Road Map, while still very much a discussion draft, is now available here. The Road Map shows how far we’ve come and where we’re going. System problems have been defined, and top ten action priorities identified. Outcomes have been discussed through Consumer Forums. Strategies, identified by the Action Teams, are being pursued by Work Groups. Draft deliverables for each Work Group have been identified and, indeed, many have been accomplished already.
Draft commitments have been sketched out for each area. Specific roles for government, consumers, providers and professionals, health plans, and consumers and advocates still must be fleshed out in service to these commitments. That is, we’re getting close to determining who should be responsible for doing what in the process of changing Minnesota’s mental health system for the better. The next few weeks will be busy ones for Work Groups and other stakeholders as they prepare a variety of materials for discussion. The Steering Committee will review all submitted draft commitments and progress reports when it meets next on December 9th.
Positive Restructuring at the State
Leading the way quite tangibly, Kevin Goodno, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services and MMHAG Co-Chair, has just created and filled a new position: The first Assistant Commissioner for Chemical and Mental Health Services is Wes Kooistra. The areas reporting directly to the new Assistant Commissioner are Children’s Mental Health, Adult Mental Health, Chemical Health, and State Operated Services. Chemical and Mental Health Services have been identified as a priority for the State of Minnesota.
MMHAG at MACMHP
MMHAG’s co-chairs, Kevin Goodno, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, and former Citizens League Board Chair Gary Cunningham, presented a keynote address on MMHAG at the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP) annual conference on September 30th. After the keynote address, the co-chairs and several other members of MMHAG's Steering Committee participated in an in-depth breakout session during which the Road Map was presented, and a lively question and answer session ensued.
Earlier Intervention/Secondary Prevention
Read the September summaries from the six Work Groups borne of the Earlier Intervention/Secondary Prevention Action Team.
MMHAG Weblog Update: September 13, 2004
At latest count, 293 names are listed on Work Group, Action Team, Consumer Forum, and Steering Committee rosters so far!
Statewide Funding and Payment Model
The Statewide Funding and Payment Model Work Group has developed a draft document which describes the purpose, policy objectives and key characteristics of a statewide mental health funding and payment model [online]. This document will be discussed at the next meetings of the MMHAG Fiscal Workgroup and the Steering Committee. The Work Group is beginning to evaluate specific payment models against these agreed-upon criteria.
Earlier Intervention/Secondary Prevention
Watch for summaries from the six Work Groups borne of the Earlier Intervention/Secondary Prevention Action Team, to be posted yet this week.
An Active Scene
Most Work Groups are in progress by now, at varying stages. The Model Benefit Set group, as you may know, has completed its work [see July 7, 2004 weblog entry] while many have just convened their first meeting. Here's a sampling of recent gathering:
- Public Education, Training, and Support: Met Wednesday, August 25
- Preschool Mental Health Screening: Met Wednesday, August 25 and Wednesday, September 8
- Co-Morbidities Screening: Met Friday, August 27 and Friday, September 10
- Statewide Payment Model: Met Tuesday, August 31
- Integrating Pathways for CMH in the Schools: Met Tuesday, August 31
- Performance/Measurement: Met Thursday, September 2
- Older Adults Screening: Met Wednesday, September 8
- Public Education, Training, and Support: Met Wednesday, September 8
We will continue to post summaries of additional Work Group meetings on an ongoing basis as they become available.
Finding the Best Approach for Results
Different approaches serve different goals. Some of the points of focus identified by the Work Force Solutions Action Team and the Regional Treatment Centers Work Group may best be pursued through coordination of existing groups (a fundamental goal of MMHAG where possible) or through the leadership of state agencies in lieu of formal Work Groups.
- Another Consumer Forum meeting was just held on September 8th. Watch for a summary of their progress to post shortly.
DATES TO WATCH
- The Steering Committee meets again on September 16th.
- Kevin Goodno, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, and former Citizens League Board Chair Gary Cunningham will be presenting at the MACMHC annual conference on September 30th.
An update of work by the Minnesota Mental Health Action Group is now available online. To view, please click here.
A new contact list for MMHAG work group chairs can be foundhere
Last week, a consumer forum was held as part of MMHAG’s commitment to shaping a mental health system that is responsive to the consumers and families who actually use its services. While staff has had ongoing meetings with the four consumer advocate groups on the steering committee, we were excited to broaden our scope through this forum of 18 individuals concerned with consumer advocacy.
The goal of this forum and subsequent similar efforts is to sharpen criteria for Work Groups to use in guiding their proposals for change. For example, the Work Group developing a model mental health benefit set can evaluate their direction against the criteria of the potential consumers of these benefits.
Besides engaging in an invigorating discussion, the 18 participants (three of whom joined in from greater Minnesota by phone) filled out a detailed questionnaire covering everything from people’s experience with MMHAG so far to a chance to critique potential questions we’d like to use for broader consumer engagement activities. These questionnaires are currently being analyzed and summarized for use by the Work Groups, to guide their approach to specific action steps. That is, we want to make a considered, continued effort to test Work Group proposals against the opinions of those who directly experience mental health services.
We are especially excited to reach mental health consumers who might not otherwise come into contact with opportunities for consumer input into the process. As criteria are further honed based on what we learn from consumer advocates, consumers, and their families, we will then test the criteria through several mental health consumer groups, to see whether we’re on track in representing what people want and need from their mental health system. If you would like to offer input to the Work Groups, a contact list will be posted on the website.
The MMHAG Steering Committee set the direction for Phase II at its March 2004 meeting. The Top Ten Priorities identified in the Action Steps Report released in February 2004 are the foundation for MMHAG Phase II. The objectives for each of the priorities will be pursued primarily by Work Groups. A chart showing the priorities, the Work Groups, and the Chair/Co-Chairs of each can be found by clicking here.
Some Work Groups are moving ahead more quickly than others as the work of some groups is best started after certain other objectives are met. Other Work Groups are still forming. Each Chair is empowered to invite members to the group to assure a balance of representation and a manageable size to accomplish the task. Although the current legislative session has made significant demands on the time and energy of many people, Phase II is gaining momentum and we will see additional activity as the demands of the 2004 legislative session ease.
One of MMHAG’s goals is to serve as a catalyst for change. Our intent is to continue linking with others working across our state to create the groundswell of activity. On behalf of the Co-Chairs Commissioner Kevin Goodno and Gary Cunningham, thanks to everyone who is working so hard to make good mental health care and services accessible to clients and their families across Minnesota.
Three of the original six Action Teams formed in Phase I (Fiscal Framework, Earlier Intervention and Secondary Prevention, Coordination of Care and Services) will continue to coordinate the Work Groups they are forming to accomplish their objectives. The remaining three Action Teams have dissolved (Public Private Partnerships, Standardized Assessment/Performance Measurement/Outcomes, and Workforce Solutions) having formed Work Groups to carry on their objectives.
Therefore, with thanks for their productive life, we are now retiring the Yahoo! group lists which were based on the Action Team structure. All members of any specific Action Group list have now been added to the main list serve. We will be posting overall updates at least twice monthly during Phase II, linking you to the latest draft proposals and activity reports from specific Work Groups. As always, we welcome feedback and ideas. Just Contact Us and your comments will be forwarded to all Work Group chairs.
New Members of Steering Committee
We welcome some new members to the Steering Committee. The next scheduled meetings of the Steering Committee for 2004 are June 10, September 16, and December 9.
An updated roster for the MMHAG Steering Committee can be found online by clicking Here
Thanks to those of you who have provided great feedback on the project recommendations and action steps so far.
One of the obvious questions is 'what next?'.
The steering committee is meeting on the 18th of March to determine the next phase of work and priorities. Staff for this project have met with each of the Action Group chairs to develop a proposed set of strategies for this meeting.
Based on this conversation and decisions, we will be in touch with you about next steps, and strategies to stay involved in the process.
Thanks again for your input, and your patience. We're excited to get to work again.
It's hard to ask for better praise than this editorial in the Star Tribune.
Congratulations to our Co-Chairs, the Steering Committee, and the hundreds of people that contributed to getting us to this point.
....now the real work begins.
Please make sure you sign up for the 'weblog e-mail digest' on the right side of this page to learn about next steps.
Here's our Feb edition of the MHAG Progress Report.
Most browsers can view the Word document within a browser window. If you have trouble, right click on the link and select "Save Target As" to download it to your PC so you can then open it with Word.
Thanks to everyone who participated in making today’s event so successful and effective. It was a public reminder of why we are involved in this together.
Minnesota Public Radio is running a fantastic series this week on mental health in Minnesota titled A Bad State of Mind: Minnesota's Fractured Mental Health System. The series focuses on the State's broken system, and, more importantly, the impact this has on families and individuals living with mental illness.
Minnesota has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the nation. Families in crisis may have to wait months for treatment of mental health diseases, and health care organizations are closing mental health treatment facilities even as the rates of mental health disease soar. Some mental health experts say the state is "a basket case" when it comes to providing proper treatment.
We've received requests for the attachments that were part of Action Team #4's report: Standardized Assessment, Performance Measurement & Outcomes
Here they are:
Co-Chairs Kevin Goodno and Gary Cunningham, along with the Steering Committee for the MN Mental Health Action Group, are hosting an event to announce their action steps and progress report on Thursday February 12th at 2:00 at 1645 Energy Park Road in Saint Paul (Snelling Office Park). The event will include time to talk with other leaders of the various "Action Teams", and participants in the process. See the full text of their invitation at the bottom of this post (link to "Continue Reading").
The success of the effort to date is attributable to the honesty, good will, hard work, and creativity of everyone who has contributed so far. We are excited to provide a progress report on this work, and announce next steps.
February 2, 2004
Re: MN Mental Health Action Group: Kick-Off for Action Steps
Dear Community Partner:
On behalf of the Minnesota Mental Health Action Group, we are pleased to invite you to the official announcement of our action steps and progress report on reforming the State’s mental health system.
The event will be Thursday February 12 at 2:30, at 1645 Energy Park Road (Snelling Office Park) in Saint Paul.
Our system of mental health is at a challenging phase in its infancy. We have a rare opportunity to build a solid foundation for our mental health system to better serve people who struggle with mental health issues. At the same time, revolutions in treatment and care, and the strong interest and involvement on the part of all mental health partners, has created a tremendous opportunity to transform this system.
This is a time for change, urgency -- and hope.
As you may know, the Minnesota Mental Health Action Group is an inclusive and broad-based coalition of providers, hospitals, health plans, consumer advocacy organizations and the Departments of Human Services and Health that have worked over the past six months on this issue.
We are pleased by the work to date, and excited to present our findings and action steps to the community. This event will also be an opportunity to talk with the members of the Action Group about these action steps, and to learn more about how to participate in next steps and implementation!
We urge you to attend this event, and to invite any other parties that share your interest and involvement in this issue.
Kevin Goodno, Commissioner of Human Services
Gary L. Cunningham, Citizens League Past-Chair
Press release from Megan O’Leary, Minnesota Community Foundation
Community Mental Health Fund of Minnesota Community Foundation Announces $1.5 Million in New Grants and Results of Four Previous Awards
SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA—(January 21, 2004)––Minnesota Community Foundation and the Community Mental Health Fund of Minnesota Community Foundation announced today that new grants totaling $1,530,000 have been awarded to three organizations working to address mental health issues in the Metro Area. A collaboration of five Minnesota health plans, the Fund was created in response to the regional behavioral health care capacity crisis; the Fund awarded a total of $3.2 million in 2003 to new and innovative community programs that address this crisis. Organizations that received funding in July are already putting dollars to work in the community with crisis response, transitional housing, and on-site services for behavioral health patients.
We are now posting the draft recommended action steps posted by each Action Team.
If you want to provide comments and feedback before the 12th, please Contact Us. Thanks!
We have automated the process of signing up for the Action Teams! We are using Yahoo! Groups for email discussion lists (listservs) for each team. You can sign up for each group by going to the Action Teams page. There are links to each Yahoo Group list at the bottom of each Team description.
If you have received a welcome message, you know you are signed up for a specific team. If you haven't received a welcome message, we encourage you to sign up, just to make sure. (We've had difficulty with some e-mail addresses.)
On Thursday, Citizens League Board Chair Gary Cunningham and Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Kevin Goodno formally announced the kick-off of the Minnesota Mental Health Action Group at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs.
Commissioner Goodno and Mr. Cunningham are encouraging citizens, clients and stakeholders in the system to sign up for one of six prioritized 'Action Teams'. See their formal invitation to be a part of the process posted in our document library. The press release is posted there, too.
We've created a new Action Teams section of the web site where each Action Teams' scope and deliverables are described. If you'd like to participate in one of the Action Teams, use our Contact Us form to let us know, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to subscribe to our Weblog Digest so you can follow the work of this Coalition. And please encourage others to do the same.
Thanks for your interest and support!
The Mental Health Action Group Coalition is currently being formed. This will be the main website for the Coalition, and the most current source of background information and next steps.
Stay tuned to this web site for new information, and sign up on the e-mail list on the right to receive automatic updates on Coalition and its activities.