How Hennepin County Is Fine-Tuning Mental Health Response

The Hennepin County County Commission this fall approved $20 million in American Rescue Plan funding to support several programs designed to serve the estimated pre-pandemic numbers of 200,000 adults and 33,000 children in the county dealing with mental illness. The county says four times more individuals currently are reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Among the expanding programs: school-based mental health programs, culturally specific and juvenile behavioral initiatives, family home visiting and enhanced screening for child development services, and in-home treatment options for families dealing with substance use. 

We had a deep conversation with Leah Kaiser, Senior Department Administrator for Hennepin County Behavioral Health, about the process the county is going through to try to better address mental health-related issues given the resources currently available through 2024.