Sanford Behavioral Health Headwaters ACT Bemidji

Sanford Behavioral Health Headwaters ACT Bemidji

Visit Sanford Health Behavioral Health Headwaters ACT for learning to live with severe and persistent mental health needs. We also specialize in community re-entry after jail or prison.

You can request individual, group or family therapy. What to expect:

  1. Complete a diagnostic assessment form.
  2. Schedule an appointment with one of our mental health providers to discuss your assessment.
  3. Schedule follow-up appointments based on your first appointment and assessment.

Our provider team is growing to improve access to mental health care. Please schedule an appointment to visit with a mental health professional. Previously, patients were able to walk in with no appointment, which created long wait times. This new policy will ensure that Sanford Health is able to meet the needs of all patients.


Sanford Behavioral Health Headwaters ACT Bemidji Doctors

Preparing for Your Visit

Our Programs

New Beginnings Re-Entry Project

The process of leaving jail or prison isn't easy. We can help felons and ex-offenders identify their needs and connect them with resources in order to start healing and rebuilding their lives.

The New Beginnings Re-Entry Project can help male and female inmates make a successful return to their families as responsible members, and to their communities as law-abiding, contributing citizens.

Because of programs like ours, Minnesota's adult recidivism rates have remained remarkably stable. About 65 percent of offenders remain free of felony convictions for three years after their release.

We offer:

  • Rule 25 assessments
  • Cultural assessments
  • Needs assessments
  • Intensive case management services

Referrals and assistance

  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Recovery support services
  • Mental health diagnostic assessment and counseling
  • Cultural activities and healing practices
  • Job skills training, family counseling and parenting skills
  • Medical and/or dental care
  • Housing programs

Funding for this project is provided by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Division.

Assertive Community Treatment

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a form of case management. It is a model for providing comprehensive community-based treatment to people with severe and persistent mental illness. The Headwaters ACT Team is a multidisciplinary group organized as mobile mental health service providers. The Headwaters ACT multidisciplinary team includes a psychiatrist or certified nurse practitioner with authority to prescribe medications; registered nurse; cultural coordinator, case managers with specialties in mental health, substance use disorders, and vocational support; peer support specialists; administrative staff, and a team leader who is a mental health professional.

The team provides treatment, rehabilitation, and support services to people identified and diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness and helps them to live successfully in the community. Services are continuous and long-term. Rather than seeing clients only a few times a month, Headwaters ACT team members with various skills and backgrounds contact clients as often as necessary, sometimes 10 or more times a week. Each client gets to know multiple members of the team. If a team member is on vacation, is ill, or leaves the program, individuals will still receive services from other Headwaters ACT members.

Headwaters ACT services are intended primarily for individuals who are 18 or older with psychiatric illnesses that are most severe and persistent including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder with psychotic features are given the highest priority of service. Individuals with a primary diagnosis of a substance abuse disorder, a developmental disability, borderline personality disorder, traumatic brain injury or autism spectrum disorder are not eligible for Headwaters ACT services.

Headwaters ACT Treatment Goals

  • To lessen or eliminate the debilitating symptoms of mental illness and to minimize/prevent repeated acute episodes of the illness.
  • To reduce or eliminate hospital stays both locally and out of state.
  • To reduce or eliminate jail time.
  • To meet basic needs and enhance quality of life.
  • To improve functioning in adult social life, employment and activities.
  • To obtain and keep independence in the community.
  • To lessen the family's burden of providing care.

Plans are highly individualized for clients. Every day, Monday through Friday, the team reviews each client’s progress in reaching their goals. If an individual’s needs suddenly change, the Headwaters ACT team can respond immediately.

Headwaters ACT Services
The majority of the Headwaters ACT services are provided in the client's home, neighborhood, employment sites, or in places where people spend their leisure time. Headwaters ACT provides services wherever clients need those services. If a client is hospitalized, the team will facilitate admission, treatment, and discharge and support the person throughout the entire inpatient process.

Headwaters ACT targets clients with severe and persistent mental illness, significant difficulty doing the things needed to live independently in the community, and continuously high service need.

Assistance is provided in the following areas:

  1. Activities of daily living
  2. Housing
  3. Family life
  4. Employment
  5. Benefits
  6. Managing finances
  7. Health care
  8. Medication
  9. Co-occurring disorders
  10. Counseling

Headwaters ACT Referrals
Referrals to the Headwaters ACT team come from a variety of sources. Individuals who are referred for Headwaters ACT services are reviewed by the team with a diagnostic assessment and a functional assessment to determine if Headwaters ACT is appropriate and beneficial for the individual. Most Headwaters ACT clients (80%) must be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder with psychotic features.

Headwaters ACT is a rehabilitation service, not a crisis service. However, the Headwaters ACT team will be involved in managing the crisis of Headwaters ACT clients.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services limits the number of clients accepted into the program per month, as well as the total number of clients served. Please see our referral form or contact the administrative assistant at (218) 333-2220.

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