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Regional Branches


Greetings from Minnesota!

We are a vibrant new branch of ISPS-US which started early in 2023 after Sasha, Pat, and Kathleen (pictured) met at the national ISPS-US conference in Sacramento.  Our branch is a small but growing group of individuals with a variety of backgrounds who come together to discuss and promote our shared passion for equitable, just, dignified, and culturally-informed care for persons who experience extreme states.  The group includes individuals with lived experience, family and friends of such persons, and those who work professionally in a variety of roles within the mental health system.  No matter how or why you came to ISPS, you will find like-minded people to connect with in our branch. 

We always welcome prospective branch members.  If you would like more information about the branch or are interested in attending one of our monthly meetings, please email branch leader Kathleen Herling, MS, at

MN Branch Photos


Open Minded Online is a project of Elisabeth Svanholmer and Rufus May, two folks who were inspired to share methods of working with voices and similar experiences after they found their own experiences in traditional psychiatric treatment to be lacking. The approaches can be used by voice-hearers themselves, such as with the quick and practical Self-Help Guide to Talking With Voices, or with therapists, such as with the Engaging With Voices Videos.

Join ISPS-US member Sasha Warren for the launch of his new book Storming Bedlam. Storming Bedlam reimagines mental health care and its radical possibilities in the context of its global development under capitalism.

The human experience commonly labeled “schizophrenia” impacts all members of society in one way or another. Some experience it directly. Others witness loved ones or neighbors experiencing it. Most observe examples of it at one time or another in shared public spaces such as at bus stops and libraries. No matter the degree of contact we have with it, this state of being challenges us all as individuals and as a collective society. Is there a way we can approach this human condition with sincere compassion and respectful curiosity? Can we challenge ourselves to see first and foremost the human being having the experience and only then the behavioral expressions of the experience?

My advice to seekers--keep an open mind! The stigma, the labels, the trauma, and the disease can be erased over the course of years of hard work! It took me a lot of perseverance and a steadfast belief in my own reason, healthy eating, connection with people, retraining my trauma with successes in work and in social life and also trusting the wisdom of others who have cured themselves and been able to get off medication.

I touched my book:
it was
like a white ship,
half open
like a new rose,
it was
to my eyes
a mill,
from each page
of my book
sprouted the flower of bread;
I was blinded by my own rays,
I was insufferably
my feet left the ground
and I was walking
on clouds

Did you know the Twin Cities has a local support group for people who hear voices or have other perceptual experiences?  This group is a non-judgmental and welcoming place, free of stigmatizing labels and devoid of an emphasis on symptom reduction.  In this space you can share your experiences with others who are able to listen from a place of genuine understanding.

Meetings take place each Monday at 7:00pm in the Meditation Room of the Walker Community United Methodist Church located at 3104 16th Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55407. 

All are welcome!


Minnesota has a complicated mental health system that can be challenging to navigate, not only for persons with lived experience but also for their loved ones.  The following information is an overview of the different levels of care within the state as well as lists of specific programs in the twin cities metro area in each level of care.  Please note the list of programs is not exhaustive and is not in any way meant to provide specific recommendations for care.

While Minnesota is generally considered to be a state with a quality health system there is room for improvement in the mental health sector.  We do not yet have innovative approaches like Soteria houses or Open Dialogue but we in the Minnesota branch of ISPS-US continue to advocate for the implementation of such compassionate frameworks.  Note that the resources listed here are what is currently available in the state.  These options offer alternatives to inpatient (hospital) psychiatric care but their treatment is based on the bio-medical model with an emphasis on behavioral mitigation strategies.

If you have questions about the information provided or know of additional resources that should be added to the list, please email