Help for Children

If you are dealing with an immediate behavioral health crisis, call the Anoka County Crisis Response line at 988. The line is open all day, every day, and there is no charge for the call. Go to the Crisis Services page for more information.

Legally, anyone under age 18 is a child. If the person you are concerned about is 18 or older, go to the Help for Adults page.

If you want more information about the services you see here, call:
- Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430

Learn more about Anoka County Children's Mental Health

How Can We Help You?{collapse}

  1. I need to get help for my child as soon as possible. {needhelpasap}

    Emergency Situations

    If you are worried that your child may cause immediate harm to themselves or others, call 911 for Emergency Services and explain the situation to the dispatcher.

    Crisis Situations

    If your child is showing signs of being in a crisis, call the Crisis Response line for Anoka County at 988. The line is open all day, every day, and the call is free. The Crisis Response line is for both adults and children. Learn about Crisis Services.

    Urgent psychiatric appointment

    Urgent psychiatric appointments for children are available at only a few providers in Anoka. Call us at Children's Mental Health 763-324-1430 to get the right referral and release forms.

    Does your child have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), a special education evaluation, or a previous psychological evaluation? Those evaluations will make getting an appointment easier, but they are not required for a psychiatric appointment.

    Other referrals

    Children's Mental Health can talk with you about your child’s needs and provide you with information on both community resources and the application process for voluntary county services. To learn more, see Children's Mental Health or call us at 763-324-1430.

  2. I'm worried about the cost for mental health treatment?{worriedaboutcost}

    If you have health insurance coverage:

    Most health insurance policies have coverage for behavioral health treatments, including counseling, psychiatric treatment, inpatient and outpatient treatment, medications and more.

    Your health insurance may be provided by an employer, or you may have purchased your own coverage through an exchange or broker. Public assistance programs, such as Medical Assistance (MA), are a type of health insurance.

    However you receive health insurance coverage, there will be a phone number you can call. Your insurance card should have that number, usually on the back of the card. There may be an email or website address you can use to get more information about behavioral health coverage.

    If you need more advice, call Anoka County Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430.

    If you are looking for health insurance:

    If you qualify, you may be able to get health insurance through MNSure, Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or other programs. The Anoka County Economic Assistance department can help you understand your options. To get started and find out if you qualify, call the Economic Assistance EZInfo line at 763-422-7200.

    If you do not have insurance and need help paying for medicines:

    You may be able to get a medication voucher from Anoka County, which pays for a one-time, 30-day supply of your child's medicine. To qualify for a medication voucher, your child must not be covered by health insurance. Anoka County does not supplement co-pays or help pay your deductible. If you need help paying for medication on a one-time basis, call Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430.

    If you do not have insurance and are looking for low-cost or free services:

    You may be able to use a clinic that offers a sliding scale for payment, meaning that the payment is based on your financial ability to pay. You may also be able to use a clinic that offers limited free services. For more information about clinics with sliding scale payments or free services, go to the Community Resources page. Or, call Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430 for information and advice.

    If you are looking for help using the TEFRA option:

    The TEFRA option allows a disabled child to receive Medical Assistance (MA) payments, even if the child's parents have too much income to qualify for the MA program. It may help pay for the treatments needed by a child with a serious, prolonged mental health condition. For more information, see Get Help with TEFRA.
  3. How do I get the right treatment for my child?{gettingtherighttreatment}

    Each child has individual needs and has their own personality. For advice, call Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430. The staff interviews many agencies in the area and knows what insurance they take and what services they provide. They can give you options for services and therapists in your area.

    Common Behavior Concerns

    All children have mental health needs. Behaviors change as children grow and develop. Mental health needs and behavior concerns are often tied together. A child’s behavior may be typical for his/her age or the behavior may indicate the need for further information and support. At times, parents and early childhood care professionals may have questions or concerns about a child’s behavior. The Anoka County Children & Family Council has prepared fact sheets as a reference about behavior concerns.

    Getting a Psychological Evaluation or a Diagnostic Assessment:

    You may have been told that your child needs a psychological evaluation or a diagnostic assessment. You can learn more about the difference between them by going to the Understand Diagnostic Assessment, Psychological Evaluation and other Tests page.

    For advice on where and how to get a diagnostic assessment, call Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430.

    Help for an angry teenager:

    The most common interventions are:
    • psychological evaluation
    • therapy
    • in-home skills therapy
    • group therapy
    • psychiatric consult
    • medications.
    There are other, more restrictive interventions that usually require insurance approval and/or county assistance and approval. Call Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430 for more information.

    Help for an anxious child who won't attend school:

    Anxiety can go hand in hand with truancy or school refusal. It is important to find out if your child is being bullied.

    Therapy can be useful to address alternative ways to teach them how to cope with their anxiety and get them back into a school setting.

    Truancy, or refusing to attend school, is an important issue and it is best to be proactive about helping your child return to school. Call your child's teacher, school counselor, principal and other school officials to find out how you can work together to help your child.

    My child is out of control. Is there a boot camp or place I can send them?

    No, there are no boot camps for kids in Minnesota.

    Children’s Mental Health does not typically place kids out of the home in group homes, residential facilities or foster care unless we are actively working with the family and the child. For more advice, call Children’s Mental Health at 763-324-1430.
  4. I feel overwhelmed getting treatment for my child. {feelingoverwhelmed}

    Case Management:

    In case management, a social worker is assigned to your child/family and visits your home once a month to help set and meet goals and cope with mental health issues. Case management is designed to provide the services your child needs to be successful at home and in school. It is used to prevent placement outside the home, such as residential treatment, group homes, etc.

    Case management is voluntary and there is no cost to you. If your child is 16 years of age or older, they must be willing to work with a case manager to make progress on their goals. You and your child must see the case manager at least once a month.

    To qualify for a case manager, your child must have completed a Diagnostic Assessment (DA) in the last 180 days. The DA must specifically recommend case management services. Your child must meet the criteria of “a child with a SEVERE EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE as determined by a Licensed Mental Health Professional.” To learn more about this test, see Understand Diagnostic Assessment, Psychological Assessment and other Tests.

    Call Children’s Mental Health at 763-324-1430 for more information about case management.

    Personal Care Assistant:

    If your child has Medical Assistance (MA), call the Anoka County Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) unit at 763-324-1450 to arrange for a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) assessment. Or contact your Prepaid Medical Assistance Plan (PMAP) to request an evaluation.

    If you do not have Medical Assistance, call your health insurance provider to see what options are available through your coverage.

    Respite Care:

    Respite care is available on a case-by-case basis and requires the recommendation by a case manager and approval by a supervisor.
  5. I think my child is involved with drugs and/or alcohol. {drugsandalcohol}

    Call Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430 for information and referrals.

    Your child may be eligible for public funding to pay for chemical health treatment. Learn more at Get Help with Drug and Alcohol Problems.

    Also, see how a Chemical Health Initiative in Anoka County is yielding positive results in the St. Francis and Centennial School Districts, with press release and videos.
  6. I need a job and a place to live and help with my benefits, too. {otherhelp}


    The Anoka County Workforce Center can help you develop your job search skills and find a place to work. Start by calling the Anoka County Workforce Center at 763-324-2300. You can learn more at the Anoka County Workforce Center website.


    Housing is a basic need that can be hard to afford without a little help. Anoka County takes part in the Coordinated Entry system to best serve people who may be at risk of becoming, or are currently, homeless. People who complete a Step One Assessment may be eligible to receive housing services. To start the process, follow the steps below:
    • If you currently receive case management services of any kind start by contacting your County Case Manager, or “worker.”
    • If you are someone who is in need and do not have a County Case Manager, or “worker,” you may contact one of these agencies for a Step One Assessment:
      • Singles: Stepping Stone Emergency Housing, 763-323-7006
      • Families: The Salvation Army - Coon Rapids, 763-755-6873
      • Youth under 21 years of age: YMCA, - 763-493-3052


    Anoka County's Economic Assistance (EA) staff can help answer your questions about SNAP, cash, medical, insurance or other benefits. Call the EZInfo line at 763-422-7200 to hear options and talk to a staff person. Be sure to have your case number ready so staff can help you.
  7. I just want to talk to someone and learn more about resources.{justtalk}

    Call Children's Mental Health at 763-324-1430. We can suggest resources over the phone. We may even be able to meet with you at our offices to connect you to services that can be provided in your home, your community, or in other Anoka County offices.