University of Nebraska Medical Center

About Us

Like other states, Nebraska has reformed its state behavioral health system. In 2004, the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 1083 which formally moved the state away from institutional care delivered at three state-run Regional Centers toward a community-based approach focused on maintaining wellness and recovery through resources in a person’s home community.

Despite Nebraska’s progress in the last 10 years, a shortage of behavioral health professionals remains.  This prevents us from fully realizing the vision of LB 1083 – to get people the help they need when and where they need it.  88 of Nebraska’s 93 counties are recognized as mental health professional shortage areas by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

To address this workforce shortage, in 2009 the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 603 and created the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (Nebraska Revised Statutes § 71-830).  BHECN's purpose is to recruit, retain and increase the competency of the state's behavioral health workforce. To meet this purpose, we collaborate with partners, listen to our stakeholders, identify resources and barriers, and include consumers and their families in our work. Our goal is to provide accessible education and training to meet the needs of employers, behavioral health professionals and consumers. We provide first-rate, interprofessional education services which satisfy the continuing education requirements for licensure and certification.