Human Services

The Freeborn County Department of Human Services is committed to continued service in order to meet the needs of the people of Freeborn County during this difficult and confusing time.  We continue to provide all services through means of telephone and video calls whenever possible.

All Freeborn County offices are closed to the public in response to the Emergency Situation Protocol policies put in place regarding Covid-19.  In some situations, face-to-face contact is still necessary to ensure the safety of those we serve. 


Please call our office at 507-377-5400 if you have questions about your financial, child support, or social services case.


#StayConnectedMN

 

MENTAL WELL-BEING AND COVID-19

 

Mental health and well-being has always been important to overall health.  Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we take time to focus on our mental well-being, as we experience changing stress and challenges in our daily lives. 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges and uncertainties for all of us.  Many are adjusting to changes that impact their work environments, home routines, children’s school schedules, and access to mental health supports.

 

 

CONNECT WITH YOURSELF

  • Prioritize your mental health and well-being.  Find healthy ways to start, renew, or maintain habits that promote taking care of yourself and your mental well-being.  

 

  • Create your own well-being plan.  Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It helps us to be a better friend, parent, worker, and partner. Think about your needs and ask yourself if you are meeting them. Consider making a daily checklist of things you like to do that help you feel well. Your list is for you, and can include anything from calling a friend and eating balanced meals, to dancing to your favorite song.  

 

  • Take note of your daily habits. If you notice changes in your drinking, smoking, eating, or media use, reach out for help.

 

  • Give yourself some grace. Parenting during COVID-19 may be challenging. Even though the pandemic has been going on for a while, you may find yourself struggling. Some ideas to support your well-being as a parent include:  

 

    • Give yourself grace. You are doing the best you can with the tools you have. Recognize that there will be good days and bad days.  
    • Balance your needs while caring for your children. 
    • Anticipate situations and be prepared as best you can. 
    • Reach out for support if and when you need it

Wellness Guide (state.mn.us)

Stress and Coping | COVID-19 | CDC

Tips and Resources for Children and Parents During COVID-19 (state.mn.us)

 

 

 

CONNECT WITH OTHERS  

  • Talk about your mental health and your challenges with others, and ask others to do the same. This can help you feel connected and supported by your community. 
  • Take time to recognize those in your life. A little recognition can go a long way. Make a special effort to connect with anyone in your workplace or community who may need extra help. Talking about hardships can be uncomfortable, but acknowledging that someone is struggling, or sharing your own struggles, truly does help. 
  • Make an effort to maintain connections. Connecting with others can help us all feel heard, acknowledged, and loved. Friendship is an action. We are social beings and social connection is essential for our survival. COVID-19 has challenged our regular ways of connecting with friends, family, and community. 
  • Find ways to connect with your community. Volunteer to call people for support, send care packages, participate in faith services remotely, or find some other creative solution to build your connections. We all need a range of connections, including close friends, social companions, and connection to a community of people who share similar values and purpose.

 

Supporting Senior Mental Well-being in Congregate Living during COVID-19 (state.mn.us)

Kind Action - SELspace

Random Acts of Kindness | Kindness Ideas

 

 

 

CREATE A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT 

  • The physical environment around us can have a major impact on our well-being. The world around us can influence our mood, energy, and stress levels.  
  • Nature can have a positive impact on our well-being. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress, and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally, it also improves our physical well-being by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.  
  • A comfortable and healing home environment that works for you can help you feel energized and calm. Your home environment can impact your emotions and mood. Consider reducing clutter and visual noise, improving lighting conditions, adding plants or other glimpses of nature, and reducing background noise.

 

How Does Your Personal Environment Impact Your Wellbeing? | Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing (umn.edu)

The Connection Between Your Home and Your Sense of Well-Being | UW Health | Madison, WI

10 Nature Activities to Help Get Your Family Through the Coronavirus Pandemic - Children and Nature Network

Recreation | Minnesota DNR (state.mn.us)

 

 

 

KNOW HOW TO FIND HELP AND SUPPORT 

  • Supports look different as we all respond to COVID-19. Maintain your well-being by connecting to your support system in any way that you can. Some supports have shifted to virtual formats. It is important to find the resources that work for you. But also know that this is temporary. Some supports, even if they are imperfect, are better than no supports.  
  • If you are concerned someone may be having thoughts of suicide, ask them openly and directly if they are having thoughts of suicide. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) to learn about resources available to you and your loved one.  
  • Warm lines and peer support can be valuable for those who are managing stressful situations, or who are managing mental health or substance use experiences. Warm lines provide support to callers who need it, but may not be in crisis. You do not need to be in crisis to call the warm line – anyone seeking support can access these resources. 
  • It can be intimidating to find a therapist, or difficult to know where to start. Use your employee assistance program, if you have one. You can contact your primary care provider, health insurance company, or check out the Fast Tracker (https://www.fasttrackermn.org/) to mental health and substance use disorder resources in Minnesota. Other people find personal referrals helpful. You might be surprised what you find out when you start asking around.

 

Home | Fast Tracker (fasttrackermn.org)

Home - Wellness in the Woods | Mental Health Advocacy (mnwitw.org)

Everyone Plays a Role in Suicide Prevention - Minnesota Department of Health (state.mn.us)


Safety and Protection:


To make a Child Protection Report, please call 507-377-5400 and ask to speak with Child Protection Intake. 

To make an Adult Protection Report, please call: 1-844-880-1574

Crime Victims Crisis Center: Call 507-377-5460


Mental Health Center:


Most of the services provided through the Freeborn County Mental Health Center are still being provided through telehealth.  Individuals are able to utilize therapy, psychiatric, and chemical health services through telehealth during this time. 

To speak with someone in our Mental Health Center, please contact our office at 507-377-5400.  Currently, we are able to provide mental health support via telephone or video calls, if available.

 To speak with someone about chemical health services, please contact our office at 507-377-5400. 


Additional Support, Information, and Resources:


EMERGENCY: 911

South Central Warm Line / Crisis Line: 1-877-399-3040 www.sccbi.info

National Alliance for Mental Health: 1-888-626-4435 www.namimn.org

Peer Support Connection Warmline
Peer-to-peer telephone support that’s safe and supportive

Call or text 844-739-6369 between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m.

The National Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

CRISIS (274747) from a cell phone to talk to professionals who can help.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline: Call 833-600-2670
A service of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture https://www.mda.state.mn.us/about/mnfarmerstress


Coping with COVID: https://mn.gov/dhs/crisis/

An online resource developed by Minnesota DHS


Tools 2 Thrive: https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month 

This website focuses on resources to reduce stress and anxiety.


Economic Assistance:


To apply for CASH, FOOD, EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE or CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE, please visit: https://applymn.dhs.mn.gov

The Department of Human Services has been encouraging people experiencing hunger to find out if they are eligible for SNAP. Information about SNAP and other hunger resources is collected on the DHS food emergency webpage. Food help is also available through the Minnesota Food HelpLine, 1-888-711-1151 or www.mnfoodhelpline.org. Freeborn County Department of Human Services continues to accept and process applications during the Federal Public Health and State Peacetime Emergency.


To apply for Health Care, please visit: https://www.mnsure.org/ or by calling 855-366-7873.

*If you are someone who is elderly, disabled or in a nursing home, you or someone authorized to act on your behalf should call the office at 507-377-5400 so a health care application can be mailed to you.


Verifications and documents for eligibility purposes can be dropped off in the DROP BOX outside of the Freeborn County Department of Human Services or sent as an email attachment to: IM.DHS@co.freeborn.mn.us


Mission Statement



The mission of Freeborn County Department of Human Services is to meet basic needs, promote self-sufficiency, assist and protect vulnerable persons and preserve families through the efficient and cost effective delivery of both statutorily required and other services authorized by the Agency Board.



2020 Social Services BlockGrant Annual Report

To fulfill federal public input requirements, the MN Department of Human Services publishes this annual report. 

Because funds are administered at the county level, county agency staff must review and make available to the public the contents of this report, and solicit public comments on use of SSBG funds.

Public comment and feedback on the state’s guidelines for use of SSBG funds should be sent to:

Nikki Kovan, Deputy Director
Child Safety and Permanency Division
P.O. Box 64943
St. Paul, MN 55164-0943

nikki.kovan@state.mn.us