Highlights and Milestones in Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health and Well-Being's History:
1979 - Agency founded: The Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health and Well-Being (then known as the Central Center for Family Resources) was founded as a community mental health and 501c(3) charitable organization serving Anoka County, with an early focus on school support groups for at-risk youth.
1984 - Program launched for adults with serious & persistent mental illness: Under the agency umbrella, a drop-in-center (Bridgeview) for adults with serious & persistent mental illness opened its doors in Fridley at Islands of Peace Park.
1990 - Child Psychiatry added: To fill a growing demand, the agency added Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists to the team.
1994 - Bridgeview moved: With help from Anoka County and the "Anoka County Community Action Program," Bridgeview moved to a house on 81st Avenue in Spring Lake Park.
1996 - Introduction of Domestic Abuse Program: To fill a huge void in the Twin Cities Metro once the Wilder Foundation discontinued their domestic abuse services, the agency launched a Domestic Abuse Program focused primarily on male perpetrators as well as victims of domestic violence, including women and children.
2009 - Renaming to Lee Carlson Center: As a tribute to our founder, on October 19, 2009 Central Center for Family Resources officially became the Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health and Well-Being. This year, Lee Carlson Center also became a CTSS (Children’s Therapeutic Services and Supports) Provider.
2010-2011 - New initiatives and recognition: Lee Carlson Center launched a "Restorative Parenting Program" within our Domestic Abuse Program, designed to help families heal wounds and improve the dynamics for men, women, and children. The agency also became a licensed Rule 29 Mental Health Outpatient Provider this year. The first installment of Lee Carlson Center's cable tv show, "Putting a Face on Mental Health," aired on North Metro Channel 15. The agency — along with collaborative partner North Metro TV — was nominated for a local "Emmy" for a segment on Children’s Mental Health.
2012-2014 - Alliances: Allina Health provided grants to educate and inspire Bridgeview members to adapt healthier lifestyles. We formed a new partnership with Head Start of Anoka and Washington County and their “Fathers Reading Every Day” initiative. Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka became a counseling site for Lee Carlson Center clients. Lee Carlson Center became an Essential Community Provider (ECP) under the MN Department of Health.
2015-2016 - Transition: Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health and Wellbeing hires new Executive Director Rob Edwards and joins the Minnesota provider association AspireMN (formerly MCCCA). We also began offering services in Centennial Schools, expanded existing services in Fridley Schools, and began providing CTSS in-home mental health services to children and their families.
2017 – Expanding the impact: Lee Carlson Center expanded programming to Osseo Area Schools, St. Francis Schools, and Totino-Grace High School. At this time, we operated in a total of 26 schools across 5 school districts. Bridgeview added housing support services for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. The agency opened a clinic location in Coon Rapids and began embedding mental health services at North Metro Pediatrics. 2017 marked the start of a three-year strategic plan that would guide excellence in mission implementation through 2019.
2018 - Intensive Treatment Foster Care (ITFC) Program: Lee Carlson Center added mental health services to kids living in foster care through the Intensive Treatment in Foster Care (ITFC) program. We began offering services in the St. Anthony-New Brighton school district. We also began providing community-based Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS), bringing the total number of programs operated by the agency to 8.
2019 - Adding Outreach and Clinic Locations Following the addition of a Coon Rapids Clinic location in 2017, Lee Carlson Center added another 5,000 square foot location in early 2019 in Brooklyn Center that provided all of the same services offered in Fridley. Along with the growth in clinics Lee Carlson Center added school-based programs in Spring Lake Park School District, and expanded services in the Osseo Area School District and Anoka-Hennepin School District focused on early childhood and elementary age students and their families. In 2019, partnerships with Blaine and Columbia Heights Police Departments helped expand the organization's role in meeting community members where they are at by conducting critical outreach to engage community members in the agency's programs and services. In addition, Lee Carlson Center partnered with the Allina hospital system to provide Emergency Room and inpatient doctors access to schedule appointments for their clients at a nearby Lee Carlson Center clinic upon discharge from the hospital system using a special Allina portal with same day or next day appointment availability at Lee Carlson Center.