July 2021 Behavioral Health Monthly Newsletter

Behavioral Health Monthly

July 2021

A line of people smiling ofr the camera

A monthly wrap-up of news from the Behavioral Health Division at DHS. Subscribe to the newsletter 

This issue:


Uniform Service Standards project moves forward with legislators' OK

Paul Fleissner

-Paul Fleissner, director,
DHS Behavioral Health Division

Navigating confusing and ambiguous government requirements can get in the way of providing quality care.

We in state government recognize that – and we are taking steps to ease the burden. The Uniform Service Standards project is designed to reform the regulatory structure and service standards for Minnesota’s mental health care system. The project is refocusing standards on supporting quality and equity. It is establishing a unified licensing framework that will ensure greater consistency in guidance to providers, centralized reporting and investigation of complaints, and access to enforcement tools necessary to protect Minnesotans.

The Minnesota Legislature this spring passed the USS Phase 1 proposal, which makes meaningful and technical changes to law. (See Articles 15 to 17). The changes will go into effect July 1 of next year, or upon federal approval, whichever is later. The scope of the changes:

  • Core service standards that apply across mental health services:
    • Common definitions
    • Policies and procedures
    • Staff qualifications and scopes of practice
    • Training
    • Treatment supervision
    • Personnel files
    • Documentation
    • Client files
    • Assessment and treatment planning
    • Health services and medications
    • Client rights and protections
    • Critical incidents
  • Updated service-specific standards for:
    • Intensive residential treatment services
    • Residential crisis stabilization
    • Certified mental health clinics (often currently referred to as “Rule 29s”)
  • Combining mobile crisis standards for adults and children to eliminate unintentional differences and clarifying how mobile crisis teams can work with family members and other third parties calling on behalf of someone in need of crisis assistance.
  • Technical changes to various statutes to conform to the updated service standards and recoded language.

Grant announcements


Recent eMemos

Mental Health Awareness at the fair set for Aug. 30

Mental Health Awareness at the State Fair is back in 2021.

The event is free with fair admission and will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 30 at Dan Patch Park located next to the Grandstand.

This event, which features about 60 mental health organizations from across the state, is an opportunity for all Minnesotans to raise awareness about mental health, which is more important than ever as we continue to recover from negative impacts of the global pandemic.

Enjoy awareness-raising activities at every booth, many of them geared for youth and families, or help with a collaborative community art project.

Stage performances begin at 8:30 a.m. with a Native American drum circle. Additional stage performances will include a panel on mental health facilitated by MPR’s Angela Davis at 11, musical acts, DOGYA with therapy dogs, and more! 

The State Fair provides a unique opportunity to educate a very large and diverse group of people about mental health issues -- something that touches almost every family in some way. Led by the State Advisory Council on Mental Health & Subcommittee on Children's Mental Health and NAMI Minnesota, 60 mental health organizations will participate in the day's activities.

Learn more about this important and fun event at www.namimn.org, call 651-645-2948 or see the event's Facebook page.


Registration is open for virtual conference on prevention

laptop icon

The virtual Minnesota Prevention Program Sharing Conference, scheduled for Oct. 21-22, provides opportunities to learn, network and build skills to enhance participants’ efforts to prevent abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 21 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 22.

Register before Sept. 1 for an early-bird discount.

The event will feature three keynote speakers:

  • Amit Sood, Executive Director for the Global Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing
  • Derek Francis, Manager of Counseling Services for Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Tony Hoffman, Founder of Tony Hoffman Speaking

The Minnesota Prevention Resource Center is a project funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Behavioral Health Division. For more information, visit the Minnesota Prevention Program Sharing Conference website.


News from DHS


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

Change which emails you receive from DHS