Mental Health Connect (MHC) was launched in January of 2015 with Bethlehem Lutheran Church to provide community-based mental health services in partnership with a faith-based organization. The program, believed to be the first of its kind, works to reduce the barriers often faced by adults with mental illnesses when trying to access mental health services. Clients meet on a one-on-one basis to tailor services, referrals and recommendations based on their individual needs. MHC services are free to anyone, and the program is currently jointly funded by Vail Place and Bethlehem Lutheran. Clients can be met anywhere in the community and no one is ever denied service.
Mental Health Connect is staffed by Vail Place mental health practitioners, including a certified peer specialist. Mental Health Connect provides individualized services to help equip people with resources to obtain mental wellness and self-sufficiency so that they can achieve their goals. In addition, the program helps people build connections and relationships that lead to their active participation in community life.
Goals for Mental Health Connect include raising funds to develop programs with other faith-based communities to address stigma and increase access to mental health services. Vail Place has a long history of partnering with faith-based organizations, and has collaborated with many other Minneapolis and Twin Cities churches, including the Basilica of Saint Mary’s, First Universalist Church, St. Joan of Arc Church, Central Lutheran Church, Zion Lutheran Church, and others.