An Integrated Approach to Young Adult Mental Health Rehab

A Growing Need for Young Adult Minnesota Mental Health Services

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Like their counterparts around the country, Minnesota’s young adult population is experiencing the negative mental health effects of the pandemic—coupled with a shortage of care. New research shows the one out of every three adults in the North Star State experienced a mental health condition last year.

But thousands of those suffering from anxiety, depression, and substance abuse have not received either outpatient care or treatment at a rural Minnesota or Minneapolis rehabilitation center. More than half of them are unable to access any Minnesota mental health services.

Young Adults in Minnesota Are Seeking Help

Each year, MHA ranks all 50 states and Washington DC in terms of mental health, substance abuse, and access to care. The organization’s 2021 report found that one out of every three people searching for mental health resources through MHA last year was between the ages of 18 and 24.

Moreover, the number of people calling Mental Health Minnesota’s Helpline, which provides information and referrals, has doubled since 2019. And the organization’s Minnesota Warmline, which offers peer support, has also received a record number of calls, with more than 13,000 calls and texts in 2020. More people are using Mental Health Minnesota’s screening tools as well. In October 2020, nearly 3,200 people completed a mental health screening with the organization—a 600 percent increase when compared with the numbers in March 2020. And the majority of those who did the screening were under the age of 24, the organization reports.

Use of our online screening tools has skyrocketed due to the extreme stress and anxiety so many people are feeling right now. Between August and October 2020, we had more than 8,000 people complete online mental health screenings, which is more than during the entire year of 2019.

Shannah Mulvihill, executive director, Mental Health Minnesota

2020 Minnesota Mental Health Statistics

Mental Health America’s rankings show that, on average, 19% of Minnesota residents experienced mental illness in 2020. However, another survey, administered by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), reported even higher numbers. KFF’s report looked at data from October 2020, and found that 31 percent of Minnesota residents over 18 were experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.

Consequently, suicidal ideation is also on the rise in the state. MHA found that 5 percent of people in Minnesota—195,000 individuals—seriously considered suicide in 2020. Meanwhile, in the Chicago area, the closest major metropolitan area outside of Minnesota, health officials compared the number of suicides in the first six months of 2019 with the number during the same time period in 2020, and found that suicides have increased by 23 percent.

In terms of substance use, the MHA rankings found that 307,000 adults in Minnesota are suffering from substance abuse disorder. In addition, recent data from Minnesota’s Department of Human Services shows that 10 percent of young adults ages 18–20 and 13 percent of those 20 to 24 years old met the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

Lack of Access to Minnesota Mental Health Services

Despite these rising numbers, young adults in Minnesota are not getting the help they need, indicating a lack of treatment centers in Minneapolis and other parts of the state. The 2021 MHA rankings showed that half a million adults in Minnesota received no care at all for their mental health issues. And among those who actively sought help, 24 percent reported that they were not able to get the treatment they needed.

Know the Facts

52% of Minnesotans with mental health issues did not have access to any kind of treatment in 2020.

The lack of access to Minnesota mental health services, including young adult rehab, is an ongoing problem in the state. Data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that nine of the 11 regions in Minnesota were designated Health Professional Shortage Areas in 2019, meaning that there was only one psychiatrist for every 35,000 people in these regions. And a study from the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that seven Minnesota counties have no mental health care providers at all.

As for Chicago, residents there are “uniquely underserved when it comes to mental health,” according to Ronald Wuest, MD, chair of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences for DuPage Medical Group. Dr. West says that many of city’s psychiatrists don’t accept insurance or accept only a limited number of insurance carriers.

What Young Adults Can Expect in a Minneapolis Rehabilitation Center

At the highest-quality young adult rehab centers, the clinical model of care addresses the underlying causes of mental health and co-occurring disorders, and is driven by outcomes research. Young people work with expert clinicians to address the underlying trauma and attachment wounds that catalyze anxiety, depression, and maladaptive coping mechanisms like substance abuse, self-harm, and eating disorders.

In addition, young adults develop skills for building resilience and coping with stress and difficult emotions, while strengthening executive functioning. Family members are an important part of the healing process, as restoring trusting parent-child relationships supports young adults to develop healthy autonomy as they progress into the next stage of growth and maturation.

Beginning with a full assessment by a dedicated treatment team, and continuing after discharge with alumni support, top-rated mental health programs guide young adults to find long-term, sustainable healing.

Evidence-Based Modalities for Sustainable Healing

In a rural Minnesota or Minneapolis rehabilitation center, young adults ideally have the opportunity to experience a wide range of modalities, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to shift negative thinking patterns toward a more positive outlook, impacting emotions and behavior
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to reconcile opposing viewpoints and increase distress tolerance
  • Family therapy, such as the Attachment-Based Family Therapy model, to repair damaged parent-child relationships
  • Group therapy that helps young adults build supportive peer connections
  • Experiential approaches such as Equine-Assisted Therapy, horticulture and culinary therapy, and art and music therapy
  • Mindfulness approaches like yoga, mindful breathing, and meditation.

Young adults may also experience a structured schedule that allows them to learn and practice new, healthy approaches to daily living and self-care, which they can take with them when they leave treatment—whether they are heading to college or entering the workforce.

In summary, emerging adults in Minnesota—and in every state—deserve the highest-quality mental healthcare available so they can move forward with strength, hope, and a sense of possibility. To learn more about Newport Institute’s residential and outpatient care specialized for young adults, contact us today.


JAMA Pediatr. 2020 Dec. doi:10.1001. 

Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2019 Dec 27;47(282):240–243.

J Community Health. 2019 Aug;44(4):756–763.


Mental Health / February 3, 2021