Behavioral Health Home (BHH) services - April 2021 newsletter

Minnesota Department of Human Services logo

Behavioral Health Home (BHH) services

Quarterly newsletter

April 2021

In this issue:

This newsletter has been sent to all authorized representatives on each BHH services team. Please forward to other BHH services staff at your organization.

Quarterly updates

check mark icon

News, programmatic updates, and useful information.

DHS certified three new BHH services provider locations, Northland Counseling-International Falls location in January 2021, and Nystrom-Duluth location in March 2021, and Wisconsin Lutheran Child and Family Services in April 2021, bringing the total number of certified BHH services provider locations to 54!

Housing Stabilization Services Event

On February 3, 2021, DHS hosted an information session highlighting Housing Stabilization Services (HSS). During the presentation providers received an overview of HSS, learned how to enroll to provide HSS, heard from a provider of HSS about ways to connect people served with HSS, and wrapped up with questions and discussion. Thank you again to all who participated!

Thank you for your feedback on the BHH services key outcomes survey!

Overall, 40% of providers completed the BHH services key outcomes provider evaluation survey. Thank you! Your feedback is very important to us. The following summary provides preliminary results from the provider survey and additional information about how those results will be used.

Key themes identified in the survey responses:

  • BHH services is attractive to providers because it allows for the flexibility to meet people where they are and address their health and well-being in a holistic, person-centered manner.
  • Overwhelmingly, providers report the ability to establish productive and supportive relationship with people served as being essential to the success of BHH services. This is reinforced by results of the 2019 initial evaluation conducted by Wilder Research in which interviews with over 90 patients and caregivers revealed that the “secret sauce” to the success of BHH services is the staff themselves. In particular, the provision of emotional support and collaborative problem solving, as well as the responsiveness and dependability of the BHH services team, were identified by patients and caregivers as having a direct result on their improved health and well-being.
  • Factors such as housing insecurity, substance use, transportation barriers, number of individuals involved in the person’s care, social isolation, and severity of co-occurring physical illnesses are the most significant in contributing to a person’s complexity and require increased staff time to provide BHH services
  • People served by BHH services have a high number of comorbid chronic conditions and BHH services providers report they need adequate time to coordinate care across health systems and develop relationships with community partners to serve this population.
  • While nearly all providers expressed confidence in being able to assist people in addressing their chronic health conditions, 76% indicated they can assist individuals in effectively engaging in substance use disorder treatment. Factors such as time constraints, staff capacity to identify and address substance use, client willingness and readiness to engage, and limited resources – especially for some culturally specific populations – contribute to the challenges of that work.
  • Social drivers of health impact all people served by BHH services with housing insecurity being reported as affecting everyone. Other primary social drivers of health that impact people being served by BHH services include socioeconomic status and availability of social support. Providers report lack of available resources and lack of time as barriers to being able to assist individuals with these identified needs.
  • Providers report sustainability challenges in balancing the staffing needs and time to successfully serve people in BHH services with the current reimbursement rate.

The results of the provider survey, along with cost, quality, and utilization data and information from the 2019 initial evaluation, will be used to:

  • Understand the extent of which the BHH services program is meeting its goals and expected outcomes
  • Identify opportunities for future quality improvement initiatives and technical assistance needs
  • Inform recommendations for process, outcome, and quality standards for use in tracking BHH services performance and that can be used in ongoing certification processes
  • Identify measures that should be stratified by race, ethnicity, and geographic location to learn more about the disparities facing specific communities and target interventions

DHS looks forward to continuing to work with BHH services providers throughout this process

BHH services information session update

As noted previously, the provider survey results indicated that social drivers of health (social, environmental, and economic conditions and policies) impact individuals receiving BHH services. DHS has released a new report, Improving the Health of People Living in Deep Poverty, and the BHH services policy team is currently working on the next information session to discuss the report and highlight key findings and recommendations. Please stay tuned for an upcoming calendar invitation! You can find more details on the report in the “learning and resources” section of this newsletter.

BHH services provider spotlight



Highlights from the front lines


Native American Community Clinic


Erin Dixon, integrated behavioral health coordinator at Native American Community Clinic (NACC), kindly agreed to write an update about NACC’s BHH services team. Erin wrote:


NACC logo

The Native American Community Clinic provides culturally responsive services since 2003 and takes many measures to integrate patient feedback and community engagement into our services and vision. This past year has been a true test of resilience in the Minneapolis community, especially in underserved populations of color. In the past 12 months, we have persevered through civil unrest, a global pandemic, mental health challenges ranging from an individual spectrum to a collective community disparity. Humility has been the crutch that many of us have used to endure the changes we have all encountered recently. At NACC we cultivate the Seven Grandfather Teachings within the organization and promote this vision in the community as well: Respect, Love, Truth, Bravery, Wisdom, Generosity and Humility. The compassion and drive displayed by NACC staff in this difficult time is a direct reflection of these core values seen in our community. The challenges we have faced as a community has fortified NACC as a beacon of hope and support. During the inception of COVID-19 NACC started the process for Behavioral Health Home Certification. With the many barriers that came from the shock of rapid change, many opportunities arose as well. Telehealth services were quickly implemented sitewide at NACC, which took some adjustment and lots of troubleshooting, but we overcame. Presently 90-95% of our behavioral health sessions are via telehealth. We have expanded our programs and groups to be held virtually while still honoring each of our relatives’ level of care. Our dynamic team has been phenomenal in streamlining needed services delivered directly to our community’s smartphones, tablets and laptops. As we move forward into a new year, we face 2021 with a new level of bravery and wisdom. Often times the most difficult challenges seem to cultivate the most valuable attributes. BHH at NACC will truly be a support for our relatives seeking balance and wellness in mind, body and spirit. Thank you to DHS for your support with the completion of our certification and thank you to all our relatives for being the cornerstone of inspiration to our staff. Miigwech, Pidamaye and Ahehee

Incorporating tobacco treatment

"no" icon


Information related to the use of commercial tobacco products, and how to help people address their use of them.


Did you know that, according to the American Lung Association, tobacco use is the number one cause of death in people with mental illness? Not only that, but it affects people with mental illness at alarmingly disparate rates compared to the general population. This section will provide ongoing information related to commercial tobacco products and how to help people address their use of them.

Lungs and Minds at Work – New Animated Short!

Lungs and Minds at Work is a new resource to use in reaching out to mental health and substance use treatment providers. The animated short encourages decision-makers to feel empowered and confident to move forward in improving the health and well-being of clients and staff by integrating tobacco treatment and implementing tobacco-free grounds policies. The video was made possible thanks to Anoka County SHIP and is available on YouTube. To learn more about how to use Lungs and Minds at Work in your community, please visit the animated short user guide.

Twin Cities Area Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) Collaborative Meeting

This FREE event is geared towards TTS Certification Program participants and staff supporting TTS.

Tuesday May 4th, 2021, 3:00–4:00 p.m.

Meeting discussions include: Minnesota Department of Health, QuitPartner and tobacco program updates

See invite information at the collaborative meeting virtual invite

Register via Survey Monkey

Workshop Intensive with Dr. Jill Williams

May 19, 2021 9:00AM-Noon

Does your organization need a jumpstart to plan the implementation of tobacco treatment or tobacco-free grounds?

Join our action planning workshop, guided by Dr. Jill Williams 9-noon on May 19, 2021.

Designed for you to bring a handful of people from your organization, dedicate some time together to build your plan, with support from Dr. Williams and others with experience. Includes stipend. Email if you are interested.

MN DHS Partner Portal

Instructions for gaining access to the MN Partner Portal:

Have your organization’s MN-ITS administrator create a user name and password. Passwords must include:

  • An upper case letter
  • A number
  • At least one of the following special characters (the partner portal will only accept these characters in a password): @, #, * (Do not use $,%,&,or !)

Send the following information to

  1. Name
  2. Email address
  3. Work phone
  4. BHH organization
  5. MN-ITS username

You will receive an email letting you know when access has been granted and resources to support you in using the partner portal. Log in to the Partner Portal with your ID and new password.

Mark your calendars

calendar icon

Important dates specific to BHH services

Save the Date for Learning Days: June 10, 2021

After a year’s hiatus, Learning Days will return as a one-day virtual event on June 10, 2021. This year’s event will focus on capturing primary care innovation and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for more Learning Days details in the coming weeks. We are looking forward to being with you again – this year virtually, next year in person!

Introduction to Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) and MSA Housing Assistance

What: The Housing Best Practices Forum is an opportunity to expand the use of best practices in helping people with disabilities move to the housing they choose.

Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA) is a public assistance program that provides monthly income for people who receive federal disability benefits like SSI or RSDI. Some MSA recipients also receive help paying for high housing costs, special diets, representative payees, or guardian/conservator expenses. This presentation will cover the basics of MSA eligibility, special needs payments, how to help transition people from Housing Support settings to MSA Housing Assistance, and recent changes to MSA Housing Assistance that could impact the people you serve.

When: Monday, May 24th, 2021 10:00am-12pm Where: Webinar via WebEx, Registration required

Who should attend: Social services staff from counties and tribes, case managers, providers serving people with disabilities, providers serving people experiencing homelessness, and anyone interested in housing issues.

Learning and resources

resources icon


Information on upcoming learning opportunities and available resources that may be helpful for BHH services providers.

Prison & Police Abolition Training: What Does a Police and Prison-Free World Look Like?

Minnesota CarePartner is hosting a Zoom training by abolitionist and Hamline University professor Jason Sole. The training will occur on June 11, 2021, from 9 a.m. to noon Central time. Three continuing education units (CEUs) offered. Price is $35. For more information and registration, please visit

First Come, First Served Opportunity to Help People Obtain Internet Access

You have an exciting opportunity to help health center patients obtain the internet access they need to connect with virtual health care, jobs and education. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program lowers the cost of high-speed internet service to ensure people have the connectivity they need during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. By the end of April, $3.2 billion in funding will be available to provide qualifying households discounts on their internet service bills and an opportunity to receive a discount on a computer or tablet. Visit the program website or download the program fact sheet for more information. Eligible health center patients may apply on the application page of the program website when it opens in late April.

Free resource: Anti-Racism Toolkit from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

To help individuals and businesses on their journey toward anti-racism, Blue Cross has created online tools and resources with actionable steps to address structural racism and health inequities at The resources include interactive fact sheets, recommended readings, and an animated video series.

Businesses can learn, reflect, and make meaningful changes in areas such as:

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Representation and why it matters
  • Equitable policies and practices

Similarly, individuals can learn and reflect on ways to take action in areas such as:

  • Bias
  • How racism shows up every day
  • Why we should we talk about racism – not race

The site also includes short animated videos offering simple definitions for key terms such as structural racism, white privilege and the Black Lives Matter movement. More video content will be added in the coming months.

New Health Equity Report and Resource

A new report, Improving the Health of People Living in Deep Poverty, was recently published by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

This report investigates how living in deep poverty can lead to poor health. It also looks at opportunities to address deep poverty and to improve health outcomes. It recognizes that state’s existing programs could more effectively help move people out of deep poverty. This is the work of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, with expertise provided by the Department of Revenue and Department of Health.

The report drew on three sources of expert information: people living in deep poverty, health care and social services providers, and published research. It provides a review of research that documents how the stress of being poor results in higher rates of chronic health problems. It shares stories of parents living in or just above deep poverty.

The report and its recommendations are all ready to inform changes in how DHS does its work and to support legislative changes proposed this session

If you advocate for improving conditions for low-income people in Minnesota, this report can provide research, data and framing for your efforts. Here is a link to the report:

Free webinar: Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): What Care Coordinators Need to Know.

  • This free webinar will occur on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, from noon – 1:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Pediatric Care Coordination: Community of Practice (PCC CoP)
  • Register on the Pediatric Care Coordination website

RentHelpMN is Now Open for Applications

Minnesota Housing is pleased to announce that RentHelpMN is now open and accepting applications. RentHelpMN makes it possible for eligible renters to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020. It also makes provisions for those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note that RentHelpMN is in Phase One, in which people with past due rent who meet eligibility requirements are invited to apply.

To apply for RentHelpMN, visit or call 211. The 211 helpline has dedicated, multilingual staff available to answer questions about RentHelpMN from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Visit to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements and to apply.

Partnering to better coordinate care & increase referrals

shaking hands


Building collaborative relationships with other providers to address whole-person care & promote service sustainability


Minnesota Department of Health is now accepting applications for the next Zero Suicide Cohort

The Zero Suicide framework aims to improve care and outcomes for individuals at risk of suicide seen in health and behavioral health care organizations. The Minnesota Department of Health Suicide Prevention unit will assist health and behavioral health care organizations in developing and implementing a Zero Suicide comprehensive approach to patient safety and closing gaps in care management and treatment plans. Organizations will meet monthly to learn skills and tools to implement the Zero Suicide framework within their system.

Eligibility Health and behavioral health care organizations looking to implement the Zero Suicide framework within their system

Application deadline Friday, May 7, 2021

Contact for more information.

Contact us

state of mn logo