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LETTER: Building a mental health system in Minnesota

Recently I had the opportunity to attend Mental Health Day at the State Capital where several key mental health organizations and coalitions are working together to build a mental health system in Minnesota, something that in the past has been lacking. Last year, we saw a substantial—and much needed—investment being placed into this system.

This year, we need to continue to build upon this system by increasing access, rates, and the workforce.

It is undeniable that around the state and country we are seeing a mental crisis as we experience a delay in services and witness people being denied services due to lack of availability and funding. Across the state wait times to access treatment at state psychiatric facilities can take more than six months.

In a given year one in five adults will experience a mental illness and will need to reach out for assistance!

We need a system in place that will ensure both early and effective intervention for these individuals.

I am encouraging and urging members of this community to advocate for continued support for these efforts. Speak with our local legislators, urge additional funds to be put into the human services budget, share your personal stories, attend local events or classes put on by local organizations such as National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or Mental Health Minnesota.

It is time that we work together to ensure that a system is built that we can depend on and access for all those experiencing a mental health need.

Kelsey Place

Woodbury

Editor's note: Kelsey Place is a master's of social work (MSW) student.

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