Task Force charged with developing comprehensive recommendations to design, implement, and sustain a continuum of mental health services throughout Minnesota
Group will include Minnesotans who have experienced mental illness, state and local government officials, mental health and other health care providers, judicial and law enforcement officials
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health
to advise the Governor and Legislature on improvements to Minnesota’s mental health systems. Governor Dayton created the task force through Executive Order 16-02
. The Governor has directed the task force to develop comprehensive recommendations to design, implement, and sustain a continuum of mental health services throughout Minnesota – comprehensive planning that has been missing from efforts to bolster our mental health system in the past.
“Too many Minnesotans are going far too long without accessing the mental health care they need,” said Governor Dayton. “Those denials damage their overall health, their job opportunities, and their access to safe, affordable housing. This Task Force will provide the expertise and leadership necessary to address these serious challenges statewide. I look forward to receiving and acting upon their recommendations.”
Over 200,000 adults and 75,000 children in Minnesota live with mental illness, and people wait an average of 10 years between the onset of symptoms and before seeking out treatment. The Task Force established today by Governor Dayton will include Minnesotans who have experienced mental illness – either themselves, or as a family member – state and local government officials, mental health and other health care providers, as well as judicial and law enforcement officials. Together, they will work to identify gaps in our state’s mental health system, and propose policy solutions that can help address those challenges across Minnesota.
“This is a critical moment for our mental health system in Minnesota,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “We have made advancements in the last year, but we need to continue moving forward on that commitment. I thank the Governor for his leadership to identify solutions that will address the gaps that exist in our mental health system, and help to ensure that all Minnesotans can access the treatment, services and supports they need.”
As directed in the Governor’s Executive Order, the Task Force will recommend a comprehensive continuum of care for Minnesotans with mental illness, including new policies, legislative changes, and funding, as well as defining the roles of the various actors within Minnesota’s mental health system, including the state, counties, hospitals, community mental health service providers, and others.
Over the last five years, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature have invested more than $56 million in mental health initiatives, including $46 million for mental health crisis services, housing for adults with mental illness, funding to increase capacity at mental health facilities across the state, and initiatives to improve children’s mental health. Additionally, Governor Dayton has proposed significant investments
this session in the Anoka Regional Treatment Center and the Minnesota Security Hospital.
About the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health
The new Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health will report back to the Governor, Legislature, and the public by the end of November, 2016, ahead of the 2017-2018 fiscal year budgeting process.
Members of the task force will be appointed by the Governor, and will include:
- The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, who will chair the task force;
- Four individuals – or family members of individuals – who have experienced mental illness;
- Two mental health advocates
- Two representatives of community mental health services;
- Two representatives of hospital systems;
- Two representatives from law enforcement;
- One representative from the counties; and
- One representative from the judicial branch.
The task force will also include ex-officio leaders from state agencies, appointed by the Governor:
- The Commissioner of the Department of Health;
- The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections;
- The State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness;
- The Ombudsperson for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities;
Four ex-officio legislative members will also serve on the task force, appointed by caucus leadership:
- A Member of the Majority Party in the Senate;
- A Member of the Minority Party in the Senate;
- A Member of the Majority Party in the House of Representatives;
- A Member of the Minority Party in the House of Representatives;
Additional information for those interested in serving on the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health will be available on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
You can view a copy of Governor Dayton’s Executive Order establishing the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health on the Governor’s website.