The HCCMHC holds a core value of using data to drive their efforts to build a stronger mental health system for children and families in Hennepin County. Under contract with the HCCMHC, Community Research Solutions  provides evaluation and research support to the Collaborative. Their work includes evaluating the Collaborative’s overall functioning; and conducting special projects to explore topics to inform the Collaborative’s efforts. Learn about our recent projects and research here.

In their own voices: Parent experiences entering the Hennepin County children’s mental health system

We used a “journey mapping” approach to interview 49 parents about their experiences entering the children’s mental health system. How did they learn that their child had a mental health concern? What kind of services did they try to find for their child? What worked well for them in this process, and what challenges did they experience?

While many families ultimately found helpful services, the results highlight the challenges that many faced in learning about and accessing these services. The interviews provide recommendations for better supporting families, including moving towards more family-driven care, making it easier to learn about services, providing navigation assistance, and increasing access to peer support.

Read the full report or executive summary

In March 2022, we shared the following information about this project at our public planning summit “Creating a better mental health system: Using community data and parent voice to support Hennepin County children and families.” We created several recordings to share information from this project.

Children’s mental health dashboard

We have been accessing publicly available data to create a “dashboard” of indicators of child and youth well-being in Hennepin County. The dashboard includes summaries of the most recent available information, along with related resources. It is our hope that the dashboard will not only provide access to recent and emerging data, but also inform efforts to strengthen the children’s mental health system of care.

Learn more about the dashboard here.

Supporting families through COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on children’s mental health. Children and families were impacted in many ways, including increased stress and isolation. Many lost access to important home-, school-, and community-based supports. The Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative engaged in several projects to support children and families during this challenging time.

COVID-19 Family Relief Fund

In 2021, the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative (HCCMHC) created a family relief fund to help offset unmet needs of families with children experiencing mental health challenges as Minnesotan’s began a Stay-at-Home Order during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other COVID-19 resources

Evaluation of partner initiatives

Wilder Research provides evaluation support to several of our Collaborative partners.  Several recent reports highlight the work of initiatives underway at District 287 and Hennepin County’s Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCCR).

Evaluation Update for DOCCR’s Trauma-Informed, Culturally Specific Programs (August 2020)

Assessing collaborative effectiveness and impact

In 2022, the CMHC re-launched an initiative to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of our Collaborative. Updated evaluation findings will be available in late 2022.

Annual metrics reports

For several years, the Collaborative produced annual metrics reports, which summarized the Collaborative’s success in areas such as collaborative partnerships, funding areas, workgroup strategies, and system impact.

Collaborative assessments

For several years, we also evaluated the Collaborative itself, gathering feedback from stakeholders about our collaboration practices and impact.

Special projects

In 2015, we also produced an evaluation of a special project conducted to promote cultural competency among mental health providers in Hennepin County.

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