The Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health has made recommendations to Governor Mark Dayton for creating a statewide mental health system that meets the needs of all Minnesotans.
More than 200,000 adults and 75,000 children in Minnesota live with mental illness. Gaps in Minnesota’s mental health system can lead to inappropriate and expensive care, such as hospitalization or ending up in a jail cell instead of a home visit from a mobile crisis team.

The task force took a comprehensive look at the state’s mental health system and made nine recommendations. They recognized that many people with mental illness also have a substance use disorders, and emphasized the need for a continuum of mental health services and activities, including health promotion and prevention, early intervention services, basic clinical services, residential and inpatient treatment, community supports and crisis response services. They recommended improvements to the governance of mental health services to achieve that continuum.

The task force also recognized disparities for some groups and recommended strategies to reduce those disparities. Other recommendations related to workforce and housing shortages, parity, acute care capacity and crisis response services.

Task force members included people who have experienced mental illness or their family members, mental health advocates, mental health service providers, and representatives from counties, courts, law enforcement, corrections, public health, education, housing and the Legislature. The task force held several meetings across the state between July and November 2016.

Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health Recommendations

• Creating a comprehensive mental health continuum of care
• Redesigning governance of Minnesota’s mental health system
• Using a cultural lens to reduce mental health disparities
• Developing the mental health workforce
• Achieving parity
• Promoting mental health and preventing mental illness
• Achieving housing stability
• Implementing short-term improvements to acute care capacity
• Implementing short-term solutions to improve crisis response

The full report can be found online here.