NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — The state has launched a mental health program directory to help North Dakotans locate and access mental health services in the state.

According to a news release from the Behavioral Health Division of the North Dakota Health and Human Services agency, this is the latest development in the state’s efforts to enhance and streamline access to vital mental health services.

The new directory allows users to search for mental health programs by location, population served, type of mental health specialists, and treatment and intervention options.

People can also search for programs that offer telehealth services.

The directory is online.

“We often hear from people that they feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start looking for mental health services for themselves or their loved ones,” said Behavioral Health Executive Director Pamela Sagness. “This directory will make it easier for people to find services that best meets their needs and will also make assessing the state’s need for additional services much easier.” 

To date, 174 mental health programs are registered in the directory.

Mental health programs can be registered using the online portal.

There are step-by-step instructions and frequently asked questions that will help guide them through the process.

Sagness said the division has spent the last several months conducting outreach about the directory to all licensed mental health practitioners in the state.

Mental health programs must provide information at least annually for the directory.

During the 2021 legislative session, North Dakota lawmakers passed Senate Bill No. 2161 allowing the agency to develop and administer a mental health program registry.

Individuals and mental health programs with questions are encouraged to email or call the division at (701) 328-8920, or 711 (TTY). 

Resources that can help

The launch of the mental health program registry coincides with Mental Illness Awareness Week, Oct. 2-8.

The division would like to remind North Dakotans that there is help for individuals who might be struggling with behavioral health concerns.

The division’s website offers a comprehensive collection of behavioral health resources and initiatives including where to find recovery services from private providers and the agency’s eight regional human service centers.

North Dakotans can also call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or call 211 if they are experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

Both numbers are answered 24 hours a day by FirstLink.