The state is sending nearly five million dollars for mental health services to intermediate school districts in Marshall and the metro area, which serve students with particular challenges. Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper says, “This is really the investment for those kids who maybe don’t need the level of hospitalization or in-patient residential treatment, but they need really intensive mental health services in a school setting.” Minnesota has four intermediate school districts that serve more than 20-thousand students each year from member school districts.
Piper will be leaving her job as human services commissioner in early January when Minnesota has a new governor, and she has advice about mental health services in Minnesota for whomever is appointed her successor. Piper says key is to invest in a whole range of services for people with different needs. “Getting people access to services at the right level when they need them will help support better outcomes for people ultimately, which is what we want for kids and for families and for everyone in our community,” she says.
Mental health services have received more attention in Minnesota in recent years because of an increase in school shootings and other confrontations between law enforcement and those with mental health problems.