|A group of Medicaid leaders and national behavioral health experts has issued Medicaid Forward: Behavioral Health, a report that offers states options to consider to promote the health and well-being of Medicaid enrollees and expand access to behavioral health services. The report notes that Medicaid will be central to the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minnesota is included as an example in incentivizing screening and referrals between primary care and behavioral health providers.
The Medicaid Forward Behavioral Health Executive Working Group included Neerja Singh, PhD, LICSW, LADC, the Behavioral Health Clinical Director for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The group was convened by the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
Medicaid Forward: Children’s Health is expected to be released in April 2021, followed in July by Medicaid Forward: Long-term Services and Supports.
DHS is featuring on its website a link to “Red Lake Recovery Stories,” a group of videos in which three tribal members that work at Red Lake Chemical Health share their stories of recovery from substance use disorder.
The videos depict how the featured individuals use culture, traditional practices, and the teachings of others to help them stay sober. Each person now works as a counselor in Red Lake Medication Assisted Recovery Services.
The videos were produced by Red Lake Chemical Health with support from In Progress, a non-profit arts group in St. Paul, through a contract with DHS using funds provided by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
|DHS’s Social Security Advocacy team will be issuing an open request for proposals this summer for individuals and agencies interested in helping Minnesotans apply for Social Security disability benefits starting January 1, 2022.
DHS pays contracted individuals and agencies when they help an individual get approved for and maintain their Social Security benefits. DHS also covers mileage, medical and vital record expenses. This RFP will be open for one year so individuals and agencies have up to a year to apply to be a contracted DHS advocate.
A special training about Social Security disability benefits is set for 1:30 to 3 p.m. April 29, 2021. The training is designed for those working with American Indians in Minnesota.
The training, which will cover how the SSA defines disability and how to help someone apply for benefits, will be presented by Minnesota’s Disability Determination Services, the agency that determines a person’s medical eligibility for these benefits.
Register for the training.
Questions can be addressed to Catie LeMay, DHS’ Social Security Advocacy Tribal Coordinator, 651-238-1677.
Minnesota opens four call centers for national suicide prevention line
Minnesota callers seeking support through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will now receive fast, localized support thanks to the opening of four new call centers in Minnesota.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a network of more than 160 call centers around the country. Callers are routed to a call center near them based on their phone number, but calls that are not answered by a local call center are usually routed to a national backup center.
Minnesota callers will now receive local assistance thanks to $1.2 million in funding allocated to the program by the 2019 Minnesota Legislature.
“It is paramount that we prioritize the mental health needs of Minnesotans, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many unprecedented challenges. We know that this has been an incredibly difficult time for Minnesotans,” said Governor Tim Walz. “These four new call centers will ensure Minnesotans receive fast access to trained counselors locally. If you need help, please reach out. The Lifeline network is a free and confidential resource available 24/7 to everyone.”
Minnesota has been without a locally based National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center since spring 2018, when Minnesota’s only National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center shut down due to a lack of funding. In 2019, more than 32,000 calls from Minnesota were made to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The four new call centers in Minnesota are operated by:
- Carver County
- Greater Twin Cities United Way
- First Link
- First Call for Help
Each call center covers designated counties within Minnesota. Calls are routed to the call centers based on the first five digits of a caller’s phone number, making sure callers get the most localized support available.
The Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, supports people who call for themselves or someone they care about. People call to talk about many topics, including substance use, economic worries, relationships, mental and physical illness.
The Behavioral Health Monthly newsletter comes from the Behavioral Health Division at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. We welcome your feedback!
For more information about Behavioral Health Services in Minnesota, visit: children’s mental health / adult mental health / substance use disorder
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