Nebraska hopes to better serve families coping with children suffering from mental illness, substance abuse, or other behavioral problems.
The state Department of Health and Human Services has received a four-year, 12-Million dollar grant to create a program called “System of Care.”
Division of Behavioral Health Director Sheri Dawson says some Nebraskans have complained state services are fragmented.
“There are times where families, because we don’t talk about mental illness and substance abuse like we do other chronic diseases, don’t even know where to turn,” Dawson tells reporters during a news conference called by Gov. Pete Ricketts. “And when they ask for resources, the person that they’re asking may not be able to really tell them even though they’re might be in a service in their community.”
System of Care provides a framework to design services for children and youth struggling with mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction, or other destructive behavior. It connects and coordinates the work of state child-serving agencies, non-profits, local governments, behavioral health care providers, families, and patient advocates.
Dawson says state services aren’t available throughout Nebraska.
“Nebraska has a number of wonderful behavioral health professionals, but we don’t have one in every county,” Dawson says, adding toll-free telephone numbers and video conferencing can help improve the statewide reach.
It is hoped the initiative will make Nebraska’s behavioral health system more effective and efficient.
The $12-million, four-year grant was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
DHHS is partnering closely with the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, the Nebraska Department of Education, the Administrative Office of Probation, and family organizations.
DHHS says families can reach out for crisis services only at the numbers below. Consumers can also use the Nebraska Family Helpline, 888-866-8660, to connect with these and other services.
Region 1: Panhandle area
· Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Banner, Cheyenne, Deuel, Garden and Kimball Counties: Region 1 Behavioral Health Services, 308-225-1599
· Sheridan, Dawes and Sioux Counties, 308-430-4610
· Box Butte County: Box Butte General Hospital, 308-762-6660
Region 2: Southwest Nebraska
· Arthur, Chase, Dawson, Dundy, Frontier, Gosper, Grant, Hayes, Hitchcock, Hooker, Keith, Lincoln, Logan McPherson, Perkins, Red Willow and Thomas Counties: Region 2 Human Services, 308-390-4645
Region 3: Central Nebraska
· Adams, Clay, Franklin, Nuckolls and Wheeler Counties: 402-463-5684
· Blaine, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Loup, Merrick, Sherman, Valley and Wheeler Counties: 800-515-3326
· Buffalo, Furnas, Harlan, Kearney and Phelps Counties: 308-237-5951
Region 4: Northeast Nebraska
· Antelope, Cedar, Cuming, Knox, Madison, Pierce, Stanton Counties: 888-370-7003
· Boone, Colfax, Nance, Platte Counties: 866-758-4749
· Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Keya Paha, Rock Counties: 877-488-9928
· Burt, Dakota, Dixon, Thurston, Wayne Counties: 877-958-7776
Region 5: Southeast Nebraska
· Butler, Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Polk, Richardson, Saline, Saunders, Seward, Thayer, York Counties: local law enforcement
Region 6: Omaha Metro
· Cass, Sarpy, Dodge, Douglas, Washington Counties: 888-866-8660