North Star Summer Program

Mission Statement
To increase the overall social functioning of children by providing them with opportunities to learn and practice life skills in a safe and nurturing environment.
NorthStar Summer Program
NorthStar is a 10-week therapeutic skills-building program through Northwestern Mental Health Center designed to build Life Skills and provide routine for children diagnosed with a mental health issue. NorthStar Summer Program provides children with six hours of group therapeutic skills building each week. Each site meets twice per week for three hours each day. Group members will practice skills including building and maintaining healthy relationships, problem solving, healthy expression of emotion, respecting others and themselves, and setting goals they want to achieve. The program utilizes a curriculum designed specifically for NorthStar by the staff each year which uses lessons, crafts, games, and other activities to teach necessary life skills and to provide participants with opportunities to practice these skills in a safe and nurturing group setting.
NorthStar Summer Program Sites
The program serves six counties in Northwest Minnesota with 12 sites (a site is where the group is held) and each site can serve up to 20 children. The sites are staffed by Master level Social Workers and Counselors who are supervised by mental health professionals employed by Northwestern Mental Health Center.  NorthStar Summer Program works closely with schools, and other agencies that provide services to youth, to identify and refer children (K-6) who may benefit from therapeutic group skills-building.
Sites:Karlstad, East Grand Forks, Warren, Crookston, Halstad, MahnomenFosston, Win-E-Mac, Plummer, Red Lake Falls, Fertile, Twin Valley.

NorthStar Summer Program serves children from the completion of Kindergarten through the completion of 6th grade that have a diagnosed mental health disorder. The child must have the ability to participate in a group setting with mild to moderate intervention from staff and the child must not be a safety risk to themselves or others. NorthStar Summer Program is funded primarily through grants, medical assistance, and available county funding.

Referral Process

To learn more about the program or to make a referral please contact the program coordinator Brianne Thompson by phone: 218-289-6999 or e-mail:

Application Deadline - April 28, 2017