Arrowhead Region Working Together to Create Mental Health Friendly Communities

April 2018
Organization: 
Rural Health Innovations (RHI)

With support from the Minnesota Department of Health – Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, Rural Health Innovations (RHI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Rural Health Resource Center, is excited to announce their partnership with the Wilderness Health Accountable Community Organization (ACO). Wilderness Health ACO includes seven Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in the Arrowhead Region, Bigfork Valley Hospital - Bigfork, Community Memorial Hospital - Cloquet, Cook Hospital - Cook, Lake View Hospital - Two Harbors, Mercy Hospital - Moose Lake, Cook County North Shore Hospital - Grand Marais and Rainy Lake Hospital - International Falls. The seven Arrowhead Region CAHs have been chosen to receive technical assistance and support in working towards the creation of mental health friendly communities.

RHI will convene the seven hospitals and their community stakeholders to create a vision of what it means to eliminate the stigma of mental illness. Following the creation of their vision, each hospital will develop community-specific awareness and messaging plans that will educate the community on the coordination and integration of mental health services and reframe the story of mental health in a creative manner that resonates with the culture of each community.

Funding to support the creation of mental health friendly communities, in Northern Minnesota, is imperative to the success and sustainability of CAHs as they navigate the transition toward improved population health. This innovative and engaging approach will solidify Minnesota as the nation’s leader in health and health care.

For more information about this program, please contact Alyssa Meller, COO ameller@ruralcenter.org.