Search Btn
canvas health logo, Minnesota mental health clinics, ccbhc Minnesota

Canvas Health is hiring in all areas! Check out our career opportunities here.

Make a big difference. Support the little things.

This year for Give to the Max Day we are fundraising for clinical supplies and training that are essential to Canvas Health therapy programs.

Here are just a few examples of small things are more than they appear to be when it comes to helping individuals of all ages and backgrounds heal from mental health and substance abuse:

Toys help children process trauma.

Canvas Health - Giving to the maxJayden* recently used fire trucks/police vehicle toys to describe when he witnessed her father being arrested.

Sporting equipment and games help teens learn in a safe, structured environment.

Canvas Health - Giving to the maxOur adolescent day treatment program gives kids who have had a hard time in a traditional classroom environment the opportunity to work on their social skills, get their education, and help heal from their mental illness/substance use disorders.

Training provides therapists with the tools to help them provide the best care.

Canvas Health - Giving to the maxTo our therapists, being trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)” gives them a whole new set of tools to help clients with trauma. One of our therapists described how it will help her client who has spent significant time in and out of juvenile detention centers:

“He has been homeless, lacks guidance, is often approached with criminal opportunities and is very reactive. EMDR would help him process his trauma so he can react to his unpredictable life thoughtfully and not make mistakes that will put him behind bars.”

Gardening equipment helps clients see their own growth as they care for plants.

Canvas Health - Giving to the maxTools to interact with nature give our clients an opportunity to see growth in themselves and in the plants and vegetables that they are tending. They are so excited for harvest time and they even learn how to cook with their freshly grown crops!

Room decor help elementary-aged children feel safe.

Canvas Health - Giving to the maxA new rug, special lighting, wall hangings, and blankets make spaces warm and comfortable for elementary-aged clients to open up to their therapists.

Give to the Max Day 2023: Supplies Change Lives

Make a big difference. Support the little things. This year for Give to the Max Day we are fundraising for clinical supplies and training that are essential to Canvas Health therapy programs. Here are just a few examples of small things are more than they appear to be when it comes to helping individuals of […]

Read Article

Canvas Health’s Early Childhood Behavior Assistance Program’s therapists offer assessment by teaming with parents and care givers.

Together, the team gains clarity and increased understanding of a child’s struggles in order to provide individually tailored recommendations and interventions to support the child’s social and emotional development. Therapists provide specialized assessment as well as psychotherapy and/or skills training.

This program always begins with a comprehensive assessment using the DC:0-5 framework. From there, we work with caregivers and providers using developmentally appropriate and culturally informed methods to determine the child’s emotional and relational needs.

The Early Childhood Behavior Assistance Program has immediate openings in the following programs:

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

PCIT is an evidence-based treatment for young children (2-6 years) with behavioral problems. PCIT will help with:

  • Decreasing frequency, severity, and/or duration of tantrums
  • Decreasing negative attention-seeking behaviors
  • Increasing feelings of security, safety, and attachment to the primary caregiver
  • Decreasing frequency, severity, and/or duration of aggressive behavior
  • Decreasing frequency of destructive behavior
  • Decreasing defiance
  • Increasing compliance with adult requests
  • Increasing emotional and behavioral regulation

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) 

CPP is an evidence-based treatment for young children who have been through stressful or scary events. CPP will help with:

  • Supporting family strengths and relationships
  • Help families heal and grow after stressful events
  • Decreasing difficult behaviors
  • Improving caregiver-child relationship
  • Increasing feelings of security, safety, and attachment to the primary caregiver
  • Increasing emotional and behavioral regulation

Circle of Security Parenting Program (COS)

COS is a parenting program based on attachment research for strengthening and supporting secure parent-child relationships. COS will help with:

  • Understanding and learning to read child’s emotional needs
  • Supporting child’s ability to regulate emotions
  • Improving caregiver-child relationship
  • Increasing feelings of security, safety, and attachment to the primary caregiver

To make an appointment or for questions regarding eligibility or the referral process please call our program support assistant at (651) 251-5024.

Early Childhood Mental Health Services Offer Specialized Care to Young Clients

Canvas Health’s Early Childhood Behavior Assistance Program’s therapists offer assessment by teaming with parents and care givers. Together, the team gains clarity and increased understanding of a child’s struggles in order to provide individually tailored recommendations and interventions to support the child’s social and emotional development. Therapists provide specialized assessment as well as psychotherapy and/or […]

Read Article

Canvas Health is thrilled to celebrate our 2023 doctoral intern graduates: Bria Haynes, Noreen Raja, and Natalia Witkowska.

Canvas Health - Graduates

On September 1, 2022, Bria, Noreen, and Natalia embarked on Canvas Health’s Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Health Service Psychology. Since then, they have actively engaged in diverse areas of psychology such as individual psychotherapy, clinical and forensic evaluations, and adherent DBT services, accumulating a total of 2,080 hours since their initiation.

This accredited internship by the American Psychological Association (APA) presents an exceptional and multifaceted experience. Throughout the year, interns participate in an array of training opportunities, spanning outreach, program development, outcomes measurement, trauma-informed care, cross-discipline collaboration, consultation, research, and more, allowing for a comprehensive skillset development.

Beyond its established framework, this internship maintains an ongoing evolution, continually adapting to address the needs of interns, the agency, as well as the clients and community we serve. Many of the present internship practices and procedures have sprung from the innovative ideas of our interns. They bring with them concepts and techniques from other agencies, knowledge of cutting-edge research and practices, and a spirit of innovation that mirrors the essence of the program itself.

“I am incredibly proud of Bria, Natalia, and Noreen for all they have done in the past year. All three of our interns this year stepped out of their comfort zone, tackled new learning experiences, and continued to hone their already impressive skills. I am excited to hear about all of their successes in their future endeavors!” – Morgan Krause, PsyD, LP, Lead Clinical Psychologist & Director of Psychology Training

Congratulations graduates!

Learn more about our Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Health Service Psychology >>

The application deadline for the next internship is November 20, 2023.

Congratulations Graduates: Doctoral Interns in Clinical and Health Service Psychology

Canvas Health is thrilled to celebrate our 2023 doctoral intern graduates: Bria Haynes, Noreen Raja, and Natalia Witkowska. On September 1, 2022, Bria, Noreen, and Natalia embarked on Canvas Health’s Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Health Service Psychology. Since then, they have actively engaged in diverse areas of psychology such as individual psychotherapy, clinical and […]

Read Article

Canvas Health offers mental health therapy services in more than three dozen schools throughout the Twin Cities area. In 2023, we are expanding our reach to include St. Michael-Albertville High School, as well as both Middle Schools in the district. See a list of all schools served by Canvas Health’s School-Based Mental Health Team >>

TAP team artworkLast month, our School-Based Mental Health therapists gathered for a wonderful back-to-school retreat. The team brushed up on paperwork, celebrated successes, learned new clinical skills, and had some fun! The team, which provides diagnostic assessments and therapy services to students at their schools, values the time they can get together, swap ideas, and learn best practices from each other.

The School-Based Mental Health Team is committed to supporting students, families, teachers, and administrators. Therapists work within the school’s community setting to help identify and address mental health concerns, eliminate barriers to accessing care, and provide services in a way that makes the most sense for students.

TAP team posing in a gymnasium underneath a basketball hoop

Mental Health services provided through school

School-based therapists can provide mental health services to students during the school day or after school. We can help students work through things like depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, behavioral issues, and more. Canvas Health therapists work collaboratively with others in the school, consulting with school administrators, teachers, and other treatment providers.

Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers also can access support from the therapist by scheduling a telehealth appointment. During these sessions, the therapist can provide support and strategies for helping the child at home. Uninsured families can apply for grant funding to help cover the cost of therapy and support.

Services are offered in person as well as via telehealth, which is accessible by computer, tablet, or smartphone. Learn more about Canvas Health’s School-Based Mental Health Services and meet the fantastic members of our team!

School-based Therapists Kick Off Another Great Year

Canvas Health offers mental health therapy services in more than three dozen schools throughout the Twin Cities area. In 2023, we are expanding our reach to include St. Michael-Albertville High School, as well as both Middle Schools in the district. See a list of all schools served by Canvas Health’s School-Based Mental Health Team >> […]

Read Article

In our Staff Showcase series, we’re highlighting individuals who make Canvas Health an exceptional mental health provider. Today, we shine the spotlight on Andrew Ballew, Linnea Cebelinski, Jordan Jones, Stephanie Knickerbocker, Mike Mishler, Melissa Moon, and Meaghan Puckett who have dedicated their careers to making a difference in our community.

Join us in thanking our incredible staff for their contributions to our mission!

Celebrating 10 Years with Canvas Health

Andrew Ballew

Minnesota mental health clinic, provider photoAndrew Ballew was hired as the Postdoctoral Fellow for the psychological services, and in this role, he was instrumental in providing a strong foundation for the neurodevelopmental assessment services for Canvas Health. He has developed his expertise in the area of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome assessment and through this role has developed strong partnerships with clinical partners in the community, including Proof Alliance and the Native American Community Clinic.

Andrew is one of the few clinicians in the state that regularly provides Fetal Alcohol Syndrome assessments for adults, and as a result, receives referrals from clients living in all parts of the state. Due to his neurodevelopmental assessment focus and his skill in the forensic assessment, counties across the state and even federal agencies have sought his help when forensic cases involve complicated cognitive developmental factors. More recently, he has been invited to be a presenter at the annual state convention for Guardians ad Litem, where he shared his knowledge of working with the most vulnerable youth in the state.

Andrew’s skill and dedication for providing assessment to children and families, especially those who are disadvantaged, is known across Canvas Health. He works closely with several programs, including Therapeutic Assistance Program (TAP), Children’s Case Management, youth day treatment, and outpatient services. His commitment to social justice and the marginalized youth that he serves comes through in his practice and is reflect in his support of DEI issues and his longstanding membership on Canvas Health’s Cultural Diversity Committee. Beyond his clinical work, Andrew is also acts as a trainer, mentor, and critical support to the doctoral training program, which provides our interns with a safe space to process their experience. We’re lucky to have our team, Andrew. Thank you!

Linnea Cebelinski

Minnesota mental health clinic, provider photo

Linnea Cebelinski is a warm and steady presence at Canvas Health, on the school-based team, at her school, and most importantly to her clients. Linnea works at Lucy Laney, an elementary school on the Northside of Minneapolis. She works with very young children, most of whom have experienced enough trauma for many lifetimes. In addition to the traumas we often address in therapy, Linnea’s clients live in a hurting and under-resourced community that is disproportionately impacted by gun violence and poverty. It is not uncommon for her clients to be impacted by shootings in the community, and many have lost friends and family members (including parents) to guns.

Linnea’s approach to therapy is creative, honoring, and celebratory of the spirits of her little clients and their developing brains. Her therapy room is a healing space that provides safety, while sharing opportunities to process, create, grow, play and most importantly, be a kid. She has used sculpture, kintsugi, candles, and even yo-yos in her therapeutic interventions. She is comfortable using non-traditional therapy spaces at her school, including outside in the garden or in the gym. She will travel to client homes or meet up with her kids at their daycare. Linnea also created a garden at the school to both beautify the space but also to give her clients the opportunity to nurture and take care of something. They start seeds in the spring and continue to tend the garden during summer school. She also uses tapping, which is an intervention she has shared and taught many of our other therapists who love using it with their clients.

Working at any organization for 10 years is an accomplishment. However, Linnea’s position requires her to be very strong, extremely resilient, and unwavering in her commitment to her clients and her belief that caring for them will in turn make their lives better. She somehow balances that tenacity with quiet grace and gentleness that makes all around her feel safe and celebrated. Congratulations to Linnea for this milestone anniversary and a job well done!

Jordan Jones

Minnesota mental health clinic, provider photoJordan has been a consistent presence in the Cottage Grove and Bloomington communities for the past 10 years.

Jordan provides excellent quality mental health services and has the additional skill to be able to provide services in both English and Spanish. Her expertise in EMDR and her calming nature make her a highly sought after referral within Canvas Health as she helps individuals heal from traumatic events. Jordan has served as a Spanish speaking outreach provider, consulted at Hope House, El Consorcio, and been a consistent and active member of Canvas Health’s Cultural Diversity Committee.

Over the years she has stepped up to provide training on microaggressions for Canvas Health staff. Prior to the pandemic, Jordan was part of a test group to provide telehealth and her efforts through those two years made it possible for Canvas to move to all telehealth services within one week. Her dedication to providing evidence-based, culturally sensitive services, further our DEI work, voicing inequities, as well as providing consultation to peers has been a huge asset to Canvas Health. Thank you, Jordan!

Stephanie Knickerbocker

Minnesota mental health clinic, provider photo

Stephanie Knickerbocker has been a dedicated HR team member since 2013. She is diligent in her efforts and takes pride in adhering to deadlines.

Stephanie is not one who enjoys the spotlight so on behalf of Canvas Health, we would like to express our appreciation and celebrate this 10 year milestone. Stephanie, employees like you are the foundation to the success of Canvas Health and our HR team. Thank you for your contribution and for being a valuable member. We sincerely appreciate your hard work and efforts year after year. Happy 10-year anniversary!

 

Mike Mishler

Minnesota mental health clinic, provider photo

Mike Mishler started his career cleaning the Coon Rapids office in 2013. 10 years and 2 office moves later, he continues to be the person that keeps the office in tip top shape.

Mike is seldom seen by staff but what he does is seen by everyone. His attention to detail, his drive to go beyond expectations and the ability to adapt to the changing landscape of building maintenance is what makes Mike a great employee.

Please join me in congratulating Mike on a terrific 10 years!

 

Melissa Moon

Minnesota mental health clinic, provider photoMelissa has been involved in implementing two amazing programs which positively impact Washington County residents. The first program is our employment program, Partnering for Jobs, which brought Melissa to Canvas Health 10 years ago. The second program is our Social Security Outreach and Advocacy program, SOAR. This program offers Social Security advocacy and education to individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness in Washington Country. Canvas Health is the only CCBHC clinic in Washington County that offers this outstanding service.

During her 10 years at Canvas Health, Melissa has been dedicated to strengthening partnerships and building strong relationships with community service providers and organizations in Washington County. Through the Partnering for Jobs program she has collaboratively worked with LSS, VRS and Washington County Adult Mental Health team. The SOAR program has further strengthened her community relationships.

Melissa has taken on a leadership role and helped train and mentor new Partnering for Jobs staff. This included teaching new skills, providing guidance on best practices, and serving as a sounding board for others. She has volunteered and supported Canvas Health at our Annual Golf Classic event, Valley Vine Harvest Throwdown and staffed our Canvas Health booth at the Pride Festival. Melissa has also helped improve internal processes of referrals and advocated for ease in the process of referrals for both programs. We’re so grateful to you, Melissa!

Meaghan Puckett

Minnesota mental health clinic, provider photoMeaghan started her journey with Canvas Health, HSI-New Generations back then, as an ARMHS worker.  During that work she completed her clinical hours and applied for a therapist position. She has always been very conscientious about the work with her client and shown great care for her colleagues.  When the office would do an annual picnic she would always show up and want to connect with others, as well as appreciate the benefit of a door prize as she won every time.  Meaghan continued to expand her clinical practice when she got involved in early childhood work doing the DC 0-5 trainings. She then went on to get training in PCIT and continues to work with a broad spectrum and age range for her clients.  Prior to the pandemic, Meaghan was part of a test group to provide telehealth and her efforts through those 2 years made it possible for Canvas to move to all telehealth services with 1 week. She is always wanting to learn and has recently take the task of learning Credible and being part of the Credible help team. Over the years, supervisors have looked to Meaghan to be a mentor to new hires and she has done a great job with sharing her insights, struggles, and laughter with her team members. She helps create safe spaces for both her clients and colleagues.  Canvas Health and the Bloomington outpatient office especially has been graced with her presence, stability, and dedication through many shifts and changes.

 

Congratulations, Canvas Health Staff!

 

Staff Showcase: Celebrating 10 Years

In our Staff Showcase series, we’re highlighting individuals who make Canvas Health an exceptional mental health provider. Today, we shine the spotlight on Andrew Ballew, Linnea Cebelinski, Jordan Jones, Stephanie Knickerbocker, Mike Mishler, Melissa Moon, and Meaghan Puckett who have dedicated their careers to making a difference in our community. Join us in thanking our […]

Read Article

In our Staff Showcase series, we’re highlighting individuals who make Canvas Health an exceptional mental health provider. Today, we shine the spotlight on Lindsay Clements and Katie Zacharias, who have dedicated their careers to making a difference in our community.

Join us in thanking our incredible staff for their contributions to our mission!

Celebrating 15 Years with Canvas Health

Lindsay Clements

Lindsay ClementsLindsay Clements started at Canvas Health as a Children’s Mental Health Case Manager. Since then, Lindsay has had the opportunity to work with 130 children during her career at Canvas Health. Partnering with families to help them make positive change and progress is what fuels Lindsay to do this work. Her commitment to serving children through her work at Canvas Health has been cultivated over time by seeing her clients reach their goals, a strong team of co-workers, and by the flexibility of her role that allows her to be the best she can be for her clients and for her own family.

Lindsay’s reputation as a professional speaks for itself. Her experience in the mental health system of care makes her someone that others rely on for expertise. She has worked with children and youth in all stages of life and with varying levels of parental and family support. Lindsay’s down to earth personality has allowed her to instigate progress in the most challenged family systems. Her belief in the benefit of meeting kids and parents wherever they are at has proven helpful to so many clients. Families can always count on Lindsay to show up with a calmness that is contagious, free of judgement, and with a flexible mindset.

Canvas Health is so lucky to have Lindsay. The Case Management Team is so blessed that she continues to stay. Most of all, we are all so happy that the families she works with have found an empathic partner in her. Thanks, Linds, for all the good stuff you sprinkle around every day. You’re an incredible human and we appreciate everything you do!

Katie Zacharias

Katie ZachariasKatie Zacharias is the Supervisor of our Early Childhood Mental Health Program which provides consultation as well as mental health assessment and interventions to the littlest within our communities. Children and their families who are infants through age 5.

Katie joined Canvas Health in 2008 as a therapist within the Family Treatment Program. She spent her first 10 years within the agency driving around Washington County providing mental health assessments and individual and family therapy to clients who whose struggles were so significant that the identified child was on the cusp of an out of home placement. Katie’s natural, open and sensitive style allowed her to enter into these family’s lives, build relationship and work towards decreasing the conflict and pain they were all experiencing. Katie’s infectious laugh and sense of humor was helpful to her colleagues within the family treatment program and throughout the child division and agency.

Katie became the supervisor of our Early Childhood Mental Health services in 2018. Katie’s passion for working with young children and their caregivers can literally be felt each and every time she talks shop. Katie believes so much in providing early interventions to this population that she has engaged in multiple evidenced based practices. Katie has earned the Infant Mental Health Endorsement and has brought Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma Informed Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) and now DC 0 to 3 to the agency. Katie has trained and mentored many clinicians in these modalities of therapy and is our very agency trainer!

We are very grateful for Katie’s reputation within the Early Childhood Mental Health community. Her work is seen by our partners within Department of Human Services, local School Districts, child care agencies and family serving agencies. Katie’s work within the community promoting early childhood mental health, educating and supporting early childhood teachers, care givers and day care providers is exceptional. Katie is a sought after trainer, supervisor and supporter to all working in early childhood services.

Katie – Thank you for your 15 years of service to children, their families and those providing for the youngest in our communities! Thank you for your clinical wisdom, your dedication to the littlest of peoples, thank you most of all for your friendship. Here’s to 15 more!

 

Staff Showcase: Celebrating 15 Years

In our Staff Showcase series, we’re highlighting individuals who make Canvas Health an exceptional mental health provider. Today, we shine the spotlight on Lindsay Clements and Katie Zacharias, who have dedicated their careers to making a difference in our community. Join us in thanking our incredible staff for their contributions to our mission! Celebrating 15 […]

Read Article

Canvas Health School-Based Therapist, Christina Blaszczyk, recently helped create and facilitate a mental health-related course for 916 Mahtomedi Academy and EastView Academy students.

“A Walk in My Shoes” is a one-credit course co-created by 916 Art Teacher Shawn Hennessey and 916 Language Arts Teacher Jenna Dugan and Blaszczyk. The course activities and material are based upon the movie “A Silent Voice”, which features heavy topics such as bullying and suicide.

As a part of the course, students viewed “A Silent Voice” and created an art project where they represented their authentic selves on shoes, and then participated in a peer-reviewed gallery walk where each student could share what it is like to walk in their shoes.

Students also participated in a facilitated critical discussion on the movie with teachers and therapists. The discussion focused on how to prevent bullying and suicide and how students can help stop misinformation and stigma.

“The small class size allowed for scholars to feel comfortable and safe enough to explore serious topics, such as bullying and suicide. It was a privilege to see a group of scholars from two different schools connect with each other throughout this meaningful course,” said Blaszczyk.

This course is now official curriculum within the 916 District and its creators are hopeful this course will be offered annually.

Learn more about our School-Based Mental Health Services >>

School-Based Therapist Co-Facilitates “A Walk in My Shoes” Course

Canvas Health School-Based Therapist, Christina Blaszczyk, recently helped create and facilitate a mental health-related course for 916 Mahtomedi Academy and EastView Academy students. “A Walk in My Shoes” is a one-credit course co-created by 916 Art Teacher Shawn Hennessey and 916 Language Arts Teacher Jenna Dugan and Blaszczyk. The course activities and material are based […]

Read Article

In our Staff Showcase series, we’re highlighting individuals who make Canvas Health an exceptional mental health provider. Today, we shine the spotlight on Dean Gorall, Colleen Pavel-Brown, and Ping An Liu, who have dedicated their careers to making a difference in our community.

Join us in thanking our incredible staff for their contributions to our mission!

Celebrating 20 Years with Canvas Health

Dean Gorall

Dean GorallDean Gorall is the Supervisor of the Family Treatment Program which is one of the oldest programs within the agency. He first came to the agency and began working in the Family Treatment Program to complete his internship in 1996.

Dean has been a constant calm, smart and articulate presence within the Child Division for the last 20 years. Dean has spent much of his career working with families who are experiencing the most difficult of relational struggles. He has seen many Washington County families when they are at their worst, lowest and most vulnerable. Dean’s collaboration, sensitive style and clinical expertise is seen, heard, and felt by his clients, co-therapists, and colleagues.

In 2018 Dean became the supervisor of the Family Treatment Program. And since our go live date with Profiler in 2010, Dean has put in countless hours of Electronic Health Record training for virtually all employees entering the agency. Hundreds of Canvas Health employees have been touched by his humor, kindness, and teaching.

Dean – Thank you for your 20 years of service to children and their families.

Colleen Pavel-Brown

Colleen Pavel-BrownColleen started at HSI in 2003 in the Accounts Payable role. She was in that role for a few years and then moved to doing AP role and AR role as a transition into full time AR Specialist. Then after a few years, Colleen’s role was split into part-time AR and part-time purchasing when a colleague retired. Colleen now does a split between Purchasing and AR. Colleen does all purchasing for programs supplies and office supplies. She answers client calls, works on billing questions, sends out county billing and contract billing and does all follow up on our work comp and EAP billing. Colleen also does all client collections.

For everyone that doesn’t know Colleen, she is a kid at heart. She never wants to grow up, and she is always keeping AR on our toes and laughing. Right when you think you have heard everything, Colleen will one-up herself, make your jaw drop, and leave you laughing. AR started a list of funny Colleen stories for her award write up, but we decided to keep all those stories to our “inner jokes” for AR. Colleen has been a great asset to Canvas and AR. She has given Canvas Health 20 years, and we hope to have 20 more years of funny stories. Thank you, Colleen!

Ping An Liu

Ping An LiuPing joined the agency in 2003 as an Accountant and has seen numerous accounting and financial reporting changes during that time, from adding and closing programs to becoming a CCBHC in 2022. Ping participated in 20 annual external audits (which is an accomplishment in itself) and helped Canvas Health pass these audits with minimal or no findings.

Ping has also helped implement and customize our current accounting system to make sure it meets the agency’s needs, and he has trained and mentored our Accounts Payable Specialists over the years to ensure invoices and expenses are entered correctly into our accounting system. In addition, Ping prepares our monthly reports and addresses questions from program leaders to help them understand their financials. Thank you Ping for 20 years of dedicated service to Canvas Health!

Staff Showcase: Celebrating 20 Years

In our Staff Showcase series, we’re highlighting individuals who make Canvas Health an exceptional mental health provider. Today, we shine the spotlight on Dean Gorall, Colleen Pavel-Brown, and Ping An Liu, who have dedicated their careers to making a difference in our community. Join us in thanking our incredible staff for their contributions to our […]

Read Article

The Partnering for Jobs Individual Placement and Support Services program is dedicated to bringing hope, healing, and recovery to individuals by assisting them with finding and keeping competitive employment.

Dr. Khu Thao, Canvas Health’s CEO, reflects on the importance of the Partnering for Jobs program to clients in our programs. “Canvas Health understands that for adolescents and adults alike, stable employment is an important part of an individual’s mental health. Working can offer an individual confidence, a sense of self-worth, and valuable social connections.”

The Partnering for Jobs Program’s specific services to individuals include: job placement, coaching, and support; vocational counseling; benefits counseling; job retention and follow-along supports; and integration of mental health care with Partnering for Jobs services.

“We’re so proud of Canvas Health’s collaboration with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, and Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services on the Partnering for Jobs program. Together, we’re meeting individuals where they are currently functioning and supporting them through every step of their employment journeys,” said Thao.

Along with employment support, Partnering for Jobs offers supported education to those enrolled in the Young Adult Program (ages 14 – 26). This service is focused on the specific needs of the individual, but can include education exploration, study skill development/homework support, financial aid/application assistance, course enrollment and accommodation advocacy.

For questions regarding eligibility criteria or the referral process please ask your Canvas Health provider or Case Manager for a referral or contact: Sierra Dooley at (651) 338-7559.

Canvas Health CEO Reflects on Importance of our Vocational Program

The Partnering for Jobs Individual Placement and Support Services program is dedicated to bringing hope, healing, and recovery to individuals by assisting them with finding and keeping competitive employment. Dr. Khu Thao, Canvas Health’s CEO, reflects on the importance of the Partnering for Jobs program to clients in our programs. “Canvas Health understands that for […]

Read Article

On May 11, 2023, the federal government will end the pandemic’s classification as a public health emergency. One of the direct effects of this move on Canvas Health clients is the ending of a safety net requiring Minnesota and other states to keep individuals automatically enrolled in Medicaid programs.

This means that 1.5 million Minnesotans on Medicaid programs — either Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare — will have to once again re-enroll for their benefits. Currently, approximately 60% of Canvas Health clients receive coverage through Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare.

Canvas Health is joining the State in communicating to clients regarding the eligibility renewal process through email reminders, printed materials, and staff education about the renewal process.

If clients need assistance during the renewal process, we are encouraging them to schedule an appointment with a Canvas Health Care Coordinator. If a client no longer qualifies for Medicaid, Canvas Health’s Navigators can help them find new health care coverage through MNSure, the State’s health insurance marketplace.

We encourage clients and others to check out our special webpage to access information and links about these upcoming changes.

Medicaid Automatic Renewals Ending

On May 11, 2023, the federal government will end the pandemic’s classification as a public health emergency. One of the direct effects of this move on Canvas Health clients is the ending of a safety net requiring Minnesota and other states to keep individuals automatically enrolled in Medicaid programs. This means that 1.5 million Minnesotans on Medicaid […]

Read Article

“All Are Welcome Here,” reads the rainbow sign at the entrances of Canvas Health clinic locations.  Entering the clinic, one will also find a smaller version of this sign affixed to many of the office doors, providing a warm and affirming welcome – an indication that these are safe spaces for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

As an organization, Canvas Health is dedicated to providing affirmative and inclusive mental health and substance use services to LGBTQIA+ community members. Canvas’ employee-run Rainbow Affinity group was formally introduced in January of 2023 and is always looking for new and additional members.

The Rainbow Affinity group provides informative and educational Lunch and Learns each month (and weekly during the month of June – Pride month). These sessions have provided education about a wide range of topics relevant to serving LGBTQIA+ individuals.  Topics covered have included LGBTQIA+ “101”, gender-affirming care resources, cultural considerations, the impact of substance use in the LGBTQIA+ community and micro-/macro-aggressions, to name a few.

In June, the Lunch and Learn topics for Canvas Health staff will include:

  • A Deep Dive Into Gender Dysphoria: Criteria, prevalence, assessment tools and the DSM-V
  • Notable Figures in LGBTQIA+ History: Celebrating our predecessors
  • Staying Safe In Our Current Climate: Wait! What do you mean by that?
  • They’re Banning Drag Shows? What a drag!

In addition to the Lunch and Learns, the Rainbow Affinity group has hosted social gatherings for the agency and make themselves available to provide consultation, suggestions and/or resources to any colleagues or community members who find themselves in need.

In a climate where stereotypes seem often to be simply accepted as truth, the Rainbow Affinity group is dedicated to raising awareness and providing factual information. These efforts have proven to be a great success for Canvas Health. Each month, approximately 10-15% of Canvas’ employees attend the Lunch and Learn.  Feedback has revealed the sessions to be helpful, relevant, and valuable.

Representatives of Canvas Health will be at Loring Park June 24 and 25 for the 2023 Minneapolis Pride Festival! Please stop by our booth, check out our services and grab a little Pride swag!

Author: Jaxx Wolfe, LADC

Substance Use Treatment Program Supervisor
Co-leader, CH Rainbow Affinity Group

All Are Welcome Here

“All Are Welcome Here,” reads the rainbow sign at the entrances of Canvas Health clinic locations.  Entering the clinic, one will also find a smaller version of this sign affixed to many of the office doors, providing a warm and affirming welcome – an indication that these are safe spaces for members of the LGBTQIA+ […]

Read Article

In our Staff Showcase series, we’re highlighting individuals who make Canvas Health an exceptional mental health provider.

Join us in thanking our incredible staff for their contributions to our mission!

Celebrating 20 Years with Canvas Health

Dean Gorall

Dean GorallDean Gorall is the Supervisor of the Family Treatment Program which is one of the oldest programs within the agency. He first came to the agency and began working in the Family Treatment Program to complete his internship in 1996.

Dean has been a constant calm, smart and articulate presence within the Child Division for the last 20 years. Dean has spent much of his career working with families who are experiencing the most difficult of relational struggles. He has seen many Washington County families when they are at their worst, lowest and most vulnerable. Dean’s collaboration, sensitive style and clinical expertise is seen, heard, and felt by his clients, co-therapists, and colleagues.

In 2018 Dean became the supervisor of the Family Treatment Program. And since our go live date with Profiler in 2010, Dean has put in countless hours of Electronic Health Record training for virtually all employees entering the agency. Hundreds of Canvas Health employees have been touched by his humor, kindness, and teaching.

Dean – Thank you for your 20 years of service to children and their families.

Colleen Pavel-Brown

Colleen Pavel-BrownColleen started at HSI in 2003 in the Accounts Payable role. She was in that role for a few years and then moved to doing AP role and AR role as a transition into full time AR Specialist. Then after a few years, Colleen’s role was split into part-time AR and part-time purchasing when a colleague retired. Colleen now does a split between Purchasing and AR. Colleen does all purchasing for programs supplies and office supplies. She answers client calls, works on billing questions, sends out county billing and contract billing and does all follow up on our work comp and EAP billing. Colleen also does all client collections.

For everyone that doesn’t know Colleen, she is a kid at heart. She never wants to grow up, and she is always keeping AR on our toes and laughing. Right when you think you have heard everything, Colleen will one-up herself, make your jaw drop, and leave you laughing. AR started a list of funny Colleen stories for her award write up, but we decided to keep all those stories to our “inner jokes” for AR. Colleen has been a great asset to Canvas and AR. She has given Canvas Health 20 years, and we hope to have 20 more years of funny stories. Thank you, Colleen!

Ping An Liu

Ping An LiuPing joined the agency in 2003 as an Accountant and has seen numerous accounting and financial reporting changes during that time, from adding and closing programs to becoming a CCBHC in 2022. Ping participated in 20 annual external audits (which is an accomplishment in itself) and helped Canvas Health pass these audits with minimal or no findings.

Ping has also helped implement and customize our current accounting system to make sure it meets the agency’s needs, and he has trained and mentored our Accounts Payable Specialists over the years to ensure invoices and expenses are entered correctly into our accounting system. In addition, Ping prepares our monthly reports and addresses questions from program leaders to help them understand their financials. Thank you Ping for 20 years of dedicated service to Canvas Health!

Celebrating 25 Years with Canvas Health

Heather Mundis

Heather Mundis, staff showcaseHeather Mundis has had a tremendous career at Canvas Health. Twenty-five years ago she was hired in HSI’s violence intervention program for adolescents. From there Heather’s leadership was recognized and when HSI was approached to build a mobile crisis team, Heather was up to the challenge. She built and then ran a 24/7/365 mobile crisis team serving Washington County. Her wonderful work over the years poised Canvas Health to take on 7 additional counties providing mobile crisis services.

When Heather reflects back on all her accomplishments over the years, her proudest moments are building the mobile crisis team and saving so many lives through the work. Seven years ago an opportunity opened up in outpatient where Heather would be allotted the ability to be located closer to her home in Forest Lake.  She welcomed the shorter drives and ability to take on a new challenge, becoming the supervisor in the outpatient clinic.

Over the years she has been an ambassador to other programs in the Forest Lake office as well as showing willingness to go to external events to help highlight the need for mental health services and promote the great work that is being done at Canvas Health. Heather always prides herself on trying to help her staff and clients through attending to the physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual health for all those served in Forest Lake.  Heather exemplifies the mission of Canvas Health by instilling hope to all those who come in contact with her; provide healing to her clients and coworkers; and by promoting recovery in her daily work with her clients and all the clients who are seen at the Forest Lake clinic. Canvas Health has benefited greatly for Heather’s 25 years of dedication and service.

Nancy Nelson

Nancy Nelson, staff showcaseCanvas Health has had the privilege of having Nancy Nelson part of our staff for well over 20 years. If you know Nancy you know that being the center of attention is not something she enjoys, and you also know that Nancy has always taken pride in her work. She expresses gratitude for being given the opportunity to work with so many amazing people, both staff and clients. She views problems and struggles as opportunities to overcome, and she has always kept clients at the center of her work long before person-centered thinking was a thing.

Nancy began working for Canvas Health in 1997 as a vocational counselor and she can tell you about the many changes and roles she has participated in over the years. In 2010, Nancy decided to take a break from Canvas Health, but about 6 months later John Savereide approached her about a great opportunity at Canvas to make a difference in people’s lives. Nancy returned because of her respect for John and excitement about the work. She has been working with John in Housing Services ever since. They have been the dynamic duo of housing and helping people succeed in their housing.

Nancy always sees the good in people and situations. She is always kind, genuine, and willing to lend a helping hand. Even though she is “retired,” she continues working for Canvas 8 hours a week because she wants to make sure Canvas’s transition out of some housing programs goes well.  Again, always thinking about ways she can help.  It is with respect and gratitude that we say THANK YOU Nancy for all that you have done to make the world a better place for so many people.

Staff Showcase: Celebrating Our Staff!

In our Staff Showcase series, we’re highlighting individuals who make Canvas Health an exceptional mental health provider. Join us in thanking our incredible staff for their contributions to our mission! Celebrating 20 Years with Canvas Health Dean Gorall Dean Gorall is the Supervisor of the Family Treatment Program which is one of the oldest programs […]

Read Article

Due to the pandemic, Mike* lost his job in April of 2020. In his past work history, he had experience as a prep cook and dishwasher, but was struggling to find jobs on his own. It was assumed he was often overlooked for jobs he was perfectly qualified for due to his presentation.

That’s where the Partnering for Jobs Employment Specialist came in to assist Mike in his exploration.

Many individuals with mental health disabilities have difficulty holding jobs due to the cyclical nature of their illness or insufficient coping and work-related skills. Yet, employment plays a significant role in recovery from mental illness. Canvas Health provides vocational services to help these individuals seek and attain employment, and to develop skills to help them maintain employment.

For Mike, our Employment Specialist was able to communicate directly with employers to inform them of Mike’s skills, experience, and suitability for the job. One of those conversations landed him a job interview at Red Robin, where he was hired on the spot for a dishwasher/prep cook position.

Thanks to Mike’s persistence and his Employment Specialist’s support, he is able to work in an environment he enjoys and with people he thinks of as family. He often tells his Employment Specialist how thankful he is for the support he has received from his employer and the Partnering for Jobs program.

“I’m just so speechless. I’ve never had this much support in my life from anyone… and I’m not going anywhere!” – Mike, Canvas Health client*

Learn more about our Vocational Services for Adults and Youth to see how our specialists can help with:

  • Job placement, coaching, and support
  • Vocational counseling
  • Benefits counseling
  • Job retention and follow-along supports
  • Integration of mental health care with Partnering for Jobs services

Partnering for Jobs services are funded by Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services and are provided at no cost to participants. This program is offered in collaboration with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Partnering for Jobs Connects Loyal Staff with Grateful Employers

Due to the pandemic, Mike* lost his job in April of 2020. In his past work history, he had experience as a prep cook and dishwasher, but was struggling to find jobs on his own. It was assumed he was often overlooked for jobs he was perfectly qualified for due to his presentation. That’s where […]

Read Article

Alexa was just 15 when she lost her best friend, Alissa Haines, to suicide.

Over the years, Alexa has faced her own personal mental health challenges, and has seen others in her life struggle, too.

A self-proclaimed “fighter”, Alexa is passionate about giving back to the people and causes that she loves. “I’ve always believed that everyone has the power to bring sunshine to another person’s life, whether they’ve been friends for a long time, or they just met,” she said.

In 2020, she decided to combine her passion for helping people, love of softball, and her desire to honor Alissa into the Annual SOS Softball Tournament. The event is named after the Stomp Out Suicide 5K event, which also honors Alissa and benefits Canvas Health.

In its first year, the tournament raised over $6,000 and has subsequently raised well over $6,000 each year. Alexa donates all of the proceeds to Canvas Health to support mental health and substance use care.

In 2023, the tournament will move to a larger venue to accommodate the growing number of teams who want to be a part of the effort. The 4th Annual SOS Tournament is set for July 21-23, 2023 at Sand Creek Complex in Coon Rapids, MN.

“I’m proud of creating a really fun event that people can rally around and support. I know Alissa would be proud of me,” Alexa said.

SOS Softball Tournament Spotlights Suicide Prevention

Alexa was just 15 when she lost her best friend, Alissa Haines, to suicide. Over the years, Alexa has faced her own personal mental health challenges, and has seen others in her life struggle, too. A self-proclaimed “fighter”, Alexa is passionate about giving back to the people and causes that she loves. “I’ve always believed […]

Read Article

This article was prepared by Noreen S. Raja as a part of Canvas Health’s APA-accredited Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Health Service Psychology Program. As part of their year-long internships, interns research and present two case conferences. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month (April), following is Raja’s research into communication deficits in Autism.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), ASD is characterized by “communication and interaction with individuals, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors.” These symptoms affect the ability to function in school, work and other areas. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition and other causes are not yet known.

What are common symptoms of ASD?

As children with ASD transition into adolescence and young adulthood, they may experience difficulties with communicating with peers and adults, developing and maintaining friendships or understand what behaviors are expected of them in school or at work. Additionally, co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more prevalent in individuals with ASD than in people without.

Communication deficits are one of the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Some people with ASD can be slow to begin talking or may not learn to talk at all, and others may learn to produce words and sentences but have difficulty using them in social interaction with others. This heterogenous subgroup remains under-researched despite the fact that approximately 30% of children with ASD remain minimally-speaking or non-speaking into adulthood.

Features of non-/minimally speaking Autism

Although nonspeaking or minimally speaking can make communicating with others challenging at times, the absence of verbal communication does not indicate that an autistic person is not communicating. Some may require extra support to help them communicate effectively through other means. Some features of non-/minimally speaking autistic individuals include cortical structural changes which can impact the processing of language and speech production (Jack and Pelphrey, 2017).

Furthermore, some studies indicate visual processing impairment in minimally speaking children with ASD which can negatively influence the acquisition of language (Ortiz-Mantilla et al., 2019) Additionally, due to limited research in this area, there is no single mechanism that suggest underlying difficulties in learning to speak within minimally speaking individuals. Studies have also shown that impairments in pragmatic speech are a distinctive feature of ASD regardless of language level or age (Valle et al., 2020).

Things to consider when working with non-/minimally speaking autistic individuals

One way to accommodate these individuals is to provide access to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), which allows them to communicate their thoughts and experiences. Recognizing the importance of valuing non-verbal forms of communication for this population is essential. For example, some studies have indicated that students prefer to use non-speaking modes of communication with their teachers because it helped to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Additionally, be aware of the needs of diverse families in addition to the child. As Hanson and Lynch (2013) state: “Working as a culturally responsive educator requires professionals to be sensitive of families’ differences in beliefs, behaviors, languages, viewpoints, ways of thinking, interacting and worshipping; for they can create both texture and tension in the world.”

 

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Mental Health (Updated 2022). Autism Spectrum Disorder. Retrieved from NIMH autism spectrum disorder (nih.gov)

Jack, A., & A. Pelphrey, K. (2017). Annual Research Review: Understudied populations within the autism spectrum–current trends and future directions in neuroimaging research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry58(4), 411-435.

La Valle, C., Plesa-Skwerer, D., & Tager-Flusberg, H. (2020). Comparing the pragmatic speech profiles of minimally verbal and verbally fluent individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders50, 3699-3713.

Ortiz-Mantilla, S., Cantiani, C., Shafer, V. L., & Benasich, A. A. (2019). Minimally-verbal children with autism show deficits in theta and gamma oscillations during processing of semantically-related visual information. Scientific reports9(1), 5072.

Understanding Communication Deficits in Autism

This article was prepared by Noreen S. Raja as a part of Canvas Health’s APA-accredited Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Health Service Psychology Program. As part of their year-long internships, interns research and present two case conferences. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month (April), following is Raja’s research into communication deficits in Autism. What is […]

Read Article