Vision / Mission / History

It is the vision of the Northwestern Mental Health Center, Inc., to provide a comprehensive, integrated system of care to enhance individual health and well-being.

It is the mission of the Northwestern Mental Health Center, Inc., to provide high quality services and relationships which promote wellness and recovery so that individuals and families are successful in achieving their personal goals for an enhanced quality of life.

We value an organization of excellence that:

Provides individualized, client-center services which are culturally responsive and      
   respectful to the needs of individuals and families served
Identifies community-focused opportunities with stakeholders who are invested in 
   the health and well-being of all community members
Encourages and supports the self-care of all
Maintains the highest quality workforce
Utilizes an effective, progressive array of services
Fosters creativity and innovation in an inspiring environment
Provides an environment where the ethics, values, beliefs and structure is congruent
    with its mission
Has sustainable programming with intrinsic value to our stakeholders
Provides good stewardship over resources
Is a valued member of the community
Maintains its reputation as a Northwest Minnesota provider of choice

Northwestern Mental Health Center History

The Northwestern Mental Health Center in Crookston had its beginnings in 1957. The Center credits its beginnings with the initial work of local area physicians including Dr. Howard Wikoff, Dr. Clifford Stadem, Dr. Stanley Hirsch, and Dr. Robert Schnabel. Together with Emil Bagley, then Polk County Social Services Director, Vernon Strandemo, Social Services Director from Mahnomen County and other local leaders, they formed the beginnings of what was to be a multi-county community mental health program. The program began humbly with a few staff, and a vision to build a community based care delivery system which would insure access to a full array of mental health services to area residents. Today, the Center's staff includes over 100 people including psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, mental health professionals and practitioners and additional supporting professionals who contribute their training and talents. The Center serves 2,700 – 2,800 people annually most of whom are from the six member counties including Kittson, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Polk, and Red Lake Counties.

Since its inception, the Center has partnered with its sponsoring counties and the respective county social service agencies, assisting residents in need of one or more of the Center's services. Throughout its history, the Center has continued in its collaboration/cooperation with Schools, Churches, Health Care Organizations, Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System to jointly address local mental health needs. In recent years, these relationships have become more formalized with local County Collaboratives for Children and Adult Mental Health Initiative for adults with severe mental illness, a partnership with the Riverview Healthcare Association to provide Mental Health Crisis services, a Safe Schools Initiative, and other multi agency service programs. The Center is a partner in a number of other community initiatives to help integrate mental health concerns into other community wide interests.