“It’s no coincidence that four of the six letters in HEALTH are HEAL.” – Ed Northstrum
Mental health, along with physical health, is what defines our overall well-being. It is at the very core of how we see and react to the world around us. Recognizing the need for mental health services shows courage and strength. It is taking control of what matters most – you and your family!
Nebraska Mental Health helps you navigate your mental health needs in one, easy-to-use location. Let us provide you with the knowledge, resources and care you deserve.
Over ten years ago, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) noted there were a growing number of children and youth who needed better access and more appropriate mental health services. In 2013, with support from the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation (NCFF), Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare, and The Kim Foundation, Project Harmony joined ranks with Nebraska Families Collaborative and over thirty other partners to improve mental health services for children and youth in the Omaha Metropolitan Area.
NebraskaMentalHealth.com is an outcome of this effort.
NebraskaMentalHealth.com provides centralized access to local and regional mental health information in a single location. The goal of NebraskaMentalHealth.com is to expand knowledge about mental health terminology and to help connect those in need with the mental health information, treatment, and services. The website includes:
- Basic mental health information;
- Common mental health terminology;
- Information about evidence based therapy practices (EBPs);
- Local therapist information;
- Links to mental health related sites on the local, state, and national levels; and,
- Other resource addressing basic needs (such as transportation, food pantries, and utility assistance).
With new resources added continually, this isn’t just about finding a mental health provider. It is about feeling informed and empowered.
Opportunity Youth Alliance – OYA Hub Pilot
In June of 2015, the United Way of the Midlands brought together a group of providers in the Omaha/Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area who serve older youth to discuss how to better serve “Opportunity Youth.” Opportunity Youth are officially defined as those young people, age 16-24 who are neither in school nor working in a in a job that has a salary which sustains them.
The group of providers agreed to formalize the initiative into an initiative entitled the Opportunity Youth Alliance. The United Way and Nebraska Children partnered to devote resources toward creation of a central navigation pilot to serve older youth in the Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie County area. Project Everlast was chosen to conduct the Hub Pilot, as the work is consistent with the central navigation work we currently provide to young people with foster care experience. The OYA Hub Pilot formally began in June of 2017 and will conclude May 31, 2018. The goals of the pilot project are:
- Determine extent of the need that exists for this population;
- Gather data that will inform the Alliance of what service gaps exist for older youth;
- Gain wisdom through lessons learned about how best to operate central navigation for a large metropolitan area.
- Gather data that will assist the Alliance to make decisions about how an older youth system entity should be formed and in what capacity.
The intent of the Pilot was to serve 100 youth from the 12-month period from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018. As of January 19, 2018, the OYA Hub has served 86 young people. Below is a summary of who we are serving:
The areas of need that we have seen most frequently are:
- Education: 21
- Finances (Opportunity Passport, Need Based Fund, Flex Fund): 31
- Dentist: 2
- Transportation: 8
- Legal Documents: 6
- Employment: 33
- Housing: 26
- Health/Mental Health: 8
- Independent living: 26
- Supportive Relationship: 9
The findings from the pilot will be finalized at its conclusion in June 2018, but it is apparent that a need does exist in our community to support these young people. Nebraska Children and the United Way are formalizing plans to sustain the Hub once the pilot concludes. Stay tuned!