Minnesota Hospital Association

Policy & Advocacy

Mental Health

Twenty percent of Minnesotans live with a mental illness. Minnesota’s hospitals are dedicated to fighting stigma and providing the most appropriate care to Minnesotans with mental illnesses, substance use disorders and co-occurring conditions.  

Minnesota’s community hospitals report having 1,124 inpatient mental health beds statewide: 960 for adults, 164 for children/adolescents. Minnesota’s state operated non-forensic hospitals have 238 beds, including 16 for children/adolescents.  

Mental health treatment in Minnesota has evolved from the large state institutions of the past. Today, nearly 75 percent of mental health care is delivered in community settings, and people experiencing mental illnesses, substance abuse and/or co-occurring conditions are able to maintain a much higher quality of life living in their own homes, in their own communities.  

As part of this shift to community-based care, Minnesota’s hospitals continue to serve thousands of patients experiencing mental illness and other related conditions. From inpatient acute care to offering outpatient therapy and partnering with local community services, Minnesota hospitals are involved at every level of mental health care delivery.

What MHA is doing

Potentially Avoidable Days study

A study by MHA found nearly one in five days mental health patients spend admitted to impatient community hospital psychiatric units is potentially avoidable. "Potentially avoidable days" are days that mental health patients spent admitted to a hospital when they would more appropriately have been treated in a different care setting. The first-of-its-kind study tracked de-identified mental health patients admitted to inpatient psychiatric units at 20 participating hospitals and health systems throughout Minnesota between March 15 and April 30, 2016. Of the 32,520 total mental health bed days in all participating hospitals, 6,052 – or 19 percent – were identified as potentially avoidable. Read the executive summary or the full report.

Mental Health White Paper

MHA has compiled research about Minnesota's utilization trends, health care delivery system challenges, service gaps, as well as examples of innovative models being explored by health systems in Minnesota and around the country. Based on this research, MHA has produced a mental health white paper as a resource for those interested in learning about the mental and behavioral health care challenges Minnesota faces, and some of the options available for achieving better care and outcomes for patients. 

Helping find appropriate care

Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems serve thousands of patients with mental health and addiction treatment needs. Hospitals want to help ensure that patients receive the right mental health care at the right time in the right place. MHA has partnered with the state of Minnesota to create and maintain Minnesota Mental Health Access, an online tool to help providers locate available mental health services.