What kind of insurance do you accept?

We accept most insurances — Medicare, Medical Assistance, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, UCare, Preferred One, and Health Partners are a few.  We will call your insurance to verify benefits.

How much will I have to pay out of pocket?

Out of pocket payment depends on your benefits and insurance.  We can never give an exact dollar amount.

What insurances pay for In-home services?

Medical Assistance, Blue Plus, UCare, and all Minnesota Health Care programs will pay for In-home skills development services.

What qualifications need to be met to activate In-home services as a self-referral?

For a family to qualify for In-home services, the services must be for a child with an emotional disturbance diagnosis OR a severe emotional disturbance diagnosis.  If a diagnostic assessment has not been completed within the past year, Counseling Services of Southern Minnesota can provide an initial outpatient appointment to determine if the child qualifies for In-home services.

Is there a sliding fee scale?

We have a sliding feed scale, based on household income. We also have a same day self-pay rate – no submission to insurance.

How long does a therapy session last?

Therapy sessions typically last 50 minutes.

Do you provide chemical dependency counseling?

We do not provide chemical dependency counseling.

Do you have someone who prescribes medications?

We do not prescribe medications, however can collaborate closely with a prescribing physician.

What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the mental health therapy services /treatment I am receiving?

Feeling comfortable with the mental health professional you have is very important to the success of your treatment.  As you work with your therapist, you should begin to feel gradual relief from your distress, develop self-assurance, have a greater ability to make decisions, and experience increased comfort in your relationship with others.  At times, therapy may be painful and uncomfortable, but episodes of discomfort can occur during the most successful therapy sessions.  If you feel you are not getting results or do not feel comfortable with the therapist, it may be because the treatment you are receiving is not the one best suited to your specific needs.  First, discuss these concerns with your therapist.  A competent therapist will be eager to discuss your reactions to therapy and respond to your feelings about the process.  If you are still dissatisfied, try to arrange a consultation with another therapist to help you decide whether to change therapists.  Counseling Services of Southern Minnesota can give you names of other therapists.

If you feel your therapist is violating professional standards or ethics, there are regulatory agencies in every state that assist consumers in these types of situations.

What is the prevalence of mental illness among adults?

Research indicates mental illness is not a respecter of persons.  It occurs in all ages, race /ethnic groups, genders, and socioeconomic groupings.  Approximately 19% of the population ages 18 to 64 will experience some diagnosable mental health disorder (as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)), excluding substance abuse disorders, during a lifetime.  The more serious mental illnesses have been estimated at between 2.6% and 2.8% of adults.

Is mental illness treatable?

Yes.  Just as other diseases have specific symptoms and treatments, mental illnesses can be accurately diagnosed and effectively treated.

How do I get an appointment for outpatient mental health services?

You should call and request the intake department at 507-931-8040.  They can determine the nature of your concern, gather personal identification information from you, make a determination of eligibility for services and the most appropriate service provider to meet your specific needs.

What are the warning signs of mental illness?

In an adult:

A person with one or more of the following symptoms should be evaluated by a psychiatrist or other physician as soon as possible:

1.  Marked personality change

2.  Inability to cope with problems and daily activities.

3.  Strange or grandiose ideas

4.  Excessive anxieties

5.  Prolonged depression and apathy

6.  Marked changes in eating or sleeping patterns

7.  Extreme highs and lows

8.  Abuse of alcohol or drugs

9.  Excessive anger, hostility, or violent behavior

A person who is thinking about suicide or homicide should seek help immediately.

In a child:

Having only one or two of the problems listed below is not necessarily cause for alarm.  They may simply indicate that a practical solution is called for, such as more consistent discipline or a visit with the child’s teachers or guidance counselor to see whether there is anything out of the ordinary going on at school.  A combination of symptoms, however, is a signal for professional intervention.

1.  The child seems overwhelmed and troubled by his or her feelings, unable to cope with them.

2.  The child cries a lot.

3.  The child frequently asks or hints for help.

4.  The child seems constantly preoccupied, worried, anxious, and intense.  Some children develop a fear of a variety of things — rain, barking dogs, burglars, their parents’ getting killed when out of sight, and so on — while other children simply wear their anxiety on their faces.

5.  The child has fears or phobias that are unreasonable or interfere with normal activities.

6.  The child cannot seem to concentrate on schoolwork and other age-appropriate tasks.

7.  The child’s school performance declines and does not pick up again.

8.  The child’s teachers, school administration, or other authority figures in the child’s life ask the parent what might be troubling the child.

9.  The child is having difficulty mastering schoolwork.

10.  Teachers suggest the child may have a learning disability or other type of school-related problem.

11.  The child loses interest in playing.

12.  The child tries to stimulate himself or herself in various ways.  Examples of this kind of behavior include excessive thumb sucking or hair pulling, rocking of the body, head banging to the point of hurting himself, and masturbating often or in public.

13.  The child has no friends and gets into fights with other youngsters.  Teachers or others may report “this is a very angry or disruptive kid.”

14.  The child isolates himself or herself from other people.

15.  The child regularly talks about death and dying.

16.  The child appears to have low self-esteem and little self-confidence.  Over and over the child may make such comments as: “I can’t do anything right,” “I’m so stupid,” “I don’t see why anyone would love me,” “I know you [or someone else] hates me,” “Nobody likes me,” “I’m ugly…too big…too small…too fat… too skinny…too tall…too short, etc.”

17.  Sleep difficulties do not appear to be resolving.  They include refusing to be separated from one or both parents at bedtime, inability to sleep, sleeping too much, sleeping on the parent’s or parents’ bed, nightmares, and night terrors.

18.  The child begins to act in a provocatively sexual manner.  This is more common in girls as they approach puberty and thereafter, but even much younger girls may flirt with men in sexually suggestive ways.

19.  The child sets fires.

Some symptoms or reactions are so serious that a pediatrician or psychiatrist should be consulted immediately.  These symptoms include:

1.  The child talks about suicide.  Children do not talk idly about suicide to get attention.  Once they have begun to talk about it, they also may have begun to plan a way to do it.

2.  The child appears to be accident prone.  In younger children, a succession of accidents can become the equivalent of suicide attempts.

3.  The child mutilates himself in some way — cutting or scarring himself, pulling out his hair, or biting fingernails until nail beds bleed.

4.  The child mutilates or kills animals.

5.  The child’s eating habits change to the point that his weight is affected.  This can be caused by either overeating or under eating.

6.  The child adopts ritualistic behaviors.  This is indicative of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.  A child may have to line up her toys in a certain way every night, for example, or get ready for bed following a routine that never varies.  If she forgets one item in the routine, she must start all over again.

7.  The child beats up others — another child, a parent or other adult.

8.  The child is using alcohol or other drugs.

9.  The child is sexually active or on the verge of becoming so.  Again, this is rare in children 12 and under, but certainly not unheard of, especially since there is great pressure on kids today to become sexually active at progressively earlier ages.  When children are depressed or their self-esteem is low, they may be more vulnerable to that pressure.  Also, if they are still hurting from feelings of rejection and loneliness related to a divorce, they may be searching for love and affection and have a need to provide their lovability.