(pictured left to right) NeNeBHN Director, Jon Bailey, Communications Director, Elisha Smith, and Community Outreach Director, Traci Bruckner
Northeast Nebraska Behavioral Health Network Aims to Expand BH Access
In northeast Nebraska, the mental health provider per population rate is 2,997 to 1. The Northeast Nebraska Behavioral Health Network (NeNeBHN) is developing strategies to close this gap and expand access to mental health services with the help of a three-year grant from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“We are looking at ways to get more behavioral and mental health professionals in the region,” said thenetwork’s Director, Jon Bailey. “Our focus is on finding out what is preventing that from happening.” So far, the group has identified three areas affecting workforce retention: housing, community support and financial matters. “It’s great to see new professionals come to your community, but how can we get them to stay long term” he added.
The NeNeBHN has found interest among area high schools, especially those who are part of the Pathways 2 Tomorrow Career Academy, to conduct outreach to students about Behavioral and Mental Healthcare career opportunities and is also devising a centralized placement system to assist professionals in finding jobs.
The Northeast Nebraska Behavioral Health Network is a partnership of the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing – Northern Division, the Midtown Health Center, Region 4 Behavioral Health System, the Northern Nebraska Area Health Education Center and the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. The partnership is operating with funding from a Rural Health Network Development Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Connect with the NeNeBHN on Facebook at the Northeast Nebraska Behavioral Network