Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center was established by a dedicated group of concerned citizens and government officials of Houston, Wabasha, and Winona counties in February 1964. The group recognized the importance and effectiveness of community based programming, action, and support as the movement to bring mental health services to people in their home communities gained momentum. The city of Winona was chosen for the agency’s first headquarters at 76 East 4th Street because of its central location in all three counties. Its doors opened and the first clients began receiving services in September 1965.
Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center grew from a staff of four in 1965 to more than 90 by the year 2000, its 35th anniversary, which was celebrated by clients, staff members, and colleagues in all three counties. The Board of Directors oversees the Center’s operations with a membership of 12, which includes one county commissioner from each of the three counties and nine other community leaders representing mental health consumers, human service agencies, and surrounding businesses. The staff of Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center is its greatest resource and makes possible the important work in the field of community mental health that has been accomplished.
The agency proudly celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and now serves Winona, Houston, Wabasha, Goodhue, and Fillmore Counties with a staff of 130 employees.