Seriously Ill Children Need Better Care.

More than 100,000 Minnesota children, ages 10-17, have a serious mental illness. Every year, over a thousand attempt suicide.

Many children need months of round-the-clock care to get well, but the average stay in a children’s psychiatric hospital is just eight days. Forty-two other states offer children extended, in-patient services in a residential setting and psychiatric care.

Hundreds of Minnesota families send their children out of state every year to get this essential care. A Minnesota Department of Human Services study found that children’s mental health services lag far behind services for adults.

Children experience mental health conditions such as: Anxiety-Depression – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Substance Abuse Disorder- Bi-Polar – Personality Traits- OCD- Self-injurious Behaviors- Suicidal Ideation


A Path Forward

Cambia Hills of East Bethel is a deliberate effort to reinvent psychiatric services for children in an entirely unprecedented way: by fully integrating evidence-based therapies, the built environment, outdoor experiences, and educational programs.
The evaluation expertise provided by the Research and Clinical Practices Advisory Board ensures patient outcomes are carefully documented so our successes and failures provide a clear path forward for children’s mental health services.

A Model to Transform Lives

Cambia Hills of East Bethel is a pioneering mental health campus that supports the recovery of children with complex mental illness stemming from childhood trauma or a variety of other causes. Anticipated outcomes of this landmark project include:


  • Creating a new service delivery model and customized environment to improve outcomes for youth experiencing mental health challenges and their families.
  • Researching opportunities to advance best-practices in the field and improve service delivery options and outcomes.
  • Reducing emergency room and other costly crisis-related health expenses by providing an affordable
    alternative level of care with improved outcomes.
  • Adding extended (three-to-nine months) hospital-level psychiatric services to the treatment options
    for children.
  • Returning youth to their homes and communities who are better equipped to succeed at school, at home, at work and with their peers because they’ve moved past negative histories and built new skills that help them:
  • Study
  • Finish homework
  • Get good grades
  • Set goals and achieve them
  • Regulate their emotions
  • Resolve conflicts in positive ways
  • Build and maintain meaningful relationships with family and peers

Restoring children to their families.

Belonging is the supreme human need. No relationship is more important to a child than their biological or found family. We support families engaged in their loved one’s recovery. We work with them individually and collectively to repair broken relationships and prepare the family for the child’s return home.
We help children build essential social attributes:

  • Empathy
  • Self-regulation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Authenticity
  • Responsibility
  • Self-esteem
  • Confidence
  • Self-possession

Clinical Services

Our clinical services, grounded in a trauma-informed framework, utilize evidence-based interventions. Our comprehensive individual assessments drive developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive services. Our multidisciplinary teams include: therapists, unit managers, nurses, psychiatric providers, contracted neuro-psychologist, human service technicians and support services.

Our team utilized evidence-based services including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-CBT
  • Family-Centered Systems
  • Mindfulness-Oriented Therapies
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Person-Centered Practices
  • Positive Behavior Support

Relationship –Driven

Research shows therapeutic relationships drive therapeutic outcomes. Cambia Hills will draw on relationship-driven, evidence-based treatment strategies that leverage universal needs for connectedness and intimacy.


In keeping with The Six Principles of Trauma-Informed Care, children at Cambia Hills will: Feel safe • Find trustworthy caregivers • Be supported by their peers • Be partners in their own care • Nurture their strengths • See their uniqueness, their culture and their gender identity embraced.


Forty-seven years of experience working with children—and a huge body of research—have taught us that strengths matter more than weaknesses. Children who can form healthy attachments, who can regulate their emotions, and who have discovered their own competencies can thrive despite the weaknesses that remain.


From the very first day, children, families and therapists work together to prepare for the journey that begins when the child leaves Cambia Hills. They talk about challenges, opportunities and strategies for success. Local resources are identified. Should a problem arise, children leave knowing that staff at Cambia Hills are always just a phone call away.


Our new facility has 10 state of the art classrooms specifically built for a superior learning environment. Our partner in educational service is Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916

Northeast Metro 916 is one of three intermediate school districts in Minnesota, serving approximately 4,000 students through shared programming that includes career and technical education, special education services, area learning centers and elementary education. Through the sharing of resources, talent and ideas, Northeast Metro 916 provides cost-effective, expert and reliable services to 14 member school districts and the students and families we collectively support