DHS to do a comprehensive behavioral health needs survey

Aug 2, 2017

Rep. Kathy Hogan (D-Fargo)
Credit ND Legislature

The behavioral health division of the state Human Services Department will be undertaking an extensive needs survey – to find out what works in treating behavioral health issues, and where there are gaps.

"The discussion isn't just about what's being done,  but also what needs to be done," Department Behavioral Health Services director Pamela Sagness told the Legislature's interim Health Services Committee. "This will follow on the conversations we've been having over the last two years."

Sagness said when you only look at the data you have, you're speaking to what has been done.

"But we're not speaking to what needs to be done, or what should have been done," Sagness said.

Sagness said she belives this is the best approach for a broad overview.

"We will look at the reported gaps," Sagness said. "Things providers and family members see."

Rep. Kathy Hogan (D-Fargo) said she believes this will give the state a blueprint for behavioral heath services going forward.

"We know we have huge gaps in services," Hogan said. "We're going to know where we need to focus our real efforts, based on this needs assessment."

Hogan said this will help as the committee prepares recommendations for the 2019 Legislature.