Arrowhead Region using telepresence to serve mental health needs

Congrats to the Arrowhead Telepresence Coalition for winning a Minnesota Local Government Innovation Award

County CategoryArrowhead Telepresence Coalition—Collaborative Integration in Person-Centered Services for Integrated Behavioral Health
Arrowhead Health Alliance, a joint-powers entity representing the Minnesota counties of Carlton, Cook, Lake, Koochiching and St. Louis, helped create The Arrowhead Telepresence Coalition (ATC). The ATC is a virtual collaborative focused on developing and expanding an integrated behavioral health network that connects community behavioral health providers with schools, jails, rural hospitals, law enforcement, tribal providers, and others to better serve its community members.

You can learn more about the program

It sounds like it’s an idea that the Minnesota Department of Human Services would like to see expand. In a recent innovation brief, they highlighted the Minnesota State Advisory Council on Mental Health recommendation to provide a common platform for tele-mental health communication…

There is a lack of timely access to mental health services in many communities and schools in greater Minnesota. Mental health services across different systems (i.e. schools, counties, etc.) exist in silos, which has caused difficulty in accessing adequate services for individuals and families. A single tele-mental health platform such as Vidyo, a product already in use in many areas, needs to be made more available. Establishing one tele-mental health platform will improve immediate mental health services and access to communities and schools without developing the same complications we are seeing with the expansion of other fragmented technological systems. In addition, by implementing one tele-mental health platform throughout the state maximum flexibility, provider engagement and lower cost are expected to occur.


  • We recommend the development of infrastructure and tools for quick access to clinical mental health services via Internet Telepresence, also known as Tele-Mental Health, between Minnesota communities, schools and contracted providers. Culture, age and developmental appropriateness needs to be taken to consideration when expanding and providing these services.
  • We recommend the development of a single tele-mental health platform to use across the state. The Vidyo software is already being used to provide tele-mental health services in the state and it should be implemented across systems such as schools and other settings where people receive mental health services. Additionally, this should be made available under one state contract for purchasing.

2016 Report to Governor and Legislature, State Advisory Council on Mental Health & Subcommittee on Children’s Mental Health, December, 2016. (Letter from the Chairs, p. 1.)


This entry was posted in Healthcare, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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