By Ed Eide
While many mental health services are delivered through county or private providers, State Operated Services (SOS) forms an important part of the mental health system in Minnesota. Recent legislation and unallotments from the Governor have created uncertainty around the future of SOS. What started out as a partial reorganization has turned into a far-reaching redesign intended to cut around $15 million from the budget.
While we agree that these services could be provided differently, we strongly believe that such significant changes must be vetted through dialogue and shared decision making with those affected by the decisions, including consumers, family members, community providers, counties, hospitals, and other stakeholders.
We’ve pressed hard to make sure that consumer voices are heard when these changes are considered. In response, SOS has agreed to hold a series of meetings around the state to gather information and hear feedback. We hope that many of you will take the opportunity to attend these meetings.
Dates and locations have been set to receive community feedback, although some details are still pending. To find out more, please visit our calendar of events or call us at 612-331-6840 or 1-800-862-1799.
We’re attending as many meetings as possible, but we also need feedback from consumers and family members so that we can work to ensure you’re being heard. If you go to a meeting, and have comments or information on how it went, please contact me. I can be reached at the phone numbers above or by email: [email protected].