About Us

The Minnesota Statewide Family Network (MSFN) is a statewide non-profit parent-directed organization in Minnesota, whose mission is to expand opportunities and enhance the lives of children with mental health disorders and their families.  For over six years, this organization has fostered coalition-building among statewide parents leaders to enhance the children’s mental health infrastructure and has provided direct services and resources to all Minnesota families including those from rural and urban areas, those from diverse racial and cultural groups and now to returning veterans and their families. 

Services Provided

MSFN staff, comprised of family members from different cultural and racial backgrounds, has provided individual advocacy and support to parents as they navigate the mental health system of care and work with schools to get the support their child needs to stay at home and in school successfully.    An active web site, resources specific to families, caregivers, providers and school staff raising and working with children and youth with mental health disorders, workshops for parents and professionals and a parent leadership summit are also ongoing activities offered by our MSFN staff.  We believe that informed families can be their child’s best advocates, and that working with professionals in a collaborative spirit is the best way to achieve successful outcomes.

MSFN Youth Advisory Board

A unique project at MSFN is the Youth Advisory Board. This board is comprised of youth with a mental health diagnosis between the ages of 14-18 and up to 21 if on an IEP and advises the project, their community, and the state about the needs of youth receiving mental health services.  Youth are an underutilized resource, and although their input is critical as the recipients of a service system, they have not been a highly visible presence in local and state legislative activities or service development.  The MSFN Youth Advisory Board is an active group who operate under the banner “nothing about us without us”.   They meet monthly and are working to create and maintain a web page on the MSFN site, develop videos on relevant topics to disseminate through social networking sites (YouTube, etc.), create a presentation about their challenges in managing their mental health needs in everyday life, volunteer at community events, and learn how to become involved in their local, regional and state leadership groups.