Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is excited to partner with the new Bloomington Community Brain Health Services program. This innovative mental health pilot program will provide in-home, telehealth, and in-office mental health services to individuals and families in need following a mental health crisis and police intervention with the Bloomington Police Department (BPD). Booker Hodges, Bloomington police chief and 2007 Saint Mary’s alumnus, has envisioned improving access to mental health resources for those in crisis for many years. He reached out to Saint Mary’s because of the quality education he and his wife received as students and the fact that our Lasallian mission of respect for all persons, inclusive community, and concern for social justice rings true in the service of our students.
Lindsey Teigland, Ph.D., counseling psychology program director, and Sara Heinzen, marriage and family therapy associate and clinical director, have been working with Chief Hodges and his team this year to consult on best practices and create a unique practicum experience for students from both programs. Two members of the Saint Mary’s community, former Marriage and Family Therapy faculty member, Janet Yeats, and a 2021 graduate of the program, Luke Campbell, were referred to and selected as the licensed and administrative supervisors who will lead the students in this program.
Up to eight students from both programs will work as mental health counselors in the pilot program, which launches in December. Following a referral from the BPD after a mental health crisis call, our students and their supervisors will provide free mental health care and treatment to individuals and families for up to 10 weeks – something that has been unheard of until now.
Luke Campbell shared, “I am incredibly excited and thankful to be a part of the new mental health pilot program with Bloomington City Police Department. Since graduating from the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Saint Mary’s in 2021, I have realized that we are at a critical point in terms of mental health and well-being as a result of what we all have endured in the last couple of years with a limited number of providers. Our hope with the Bloomington Community Brain Health Services program is to alleviate some of the burden and increase accessibility for those needing mental health services and support.”
Eliminating barriers to mental health services can be the first step in creating systemic change for families in our community and beyond. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to be on the front line of doing community support work and offering resources to those in need.
Learn more about this exciting new program from KARE 11 news: