University of Nebraska Medical Center

BHECN-UNO pilot program aims to increase interest in school-based BH careers

schoolbasedmentalhealth5.14.jpgMore Nebraska graduate students will get experience working in school-based mental health thanks to a a new partnership between BHECN and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

The pilot program, which is supported by $1 million from the CDC Foundation and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, will result in approximately 25 UNO graduate behavioral health students receiving internships in Omaha-area public schools starting this month.

The goal of the project is to get more people interested and ultimately working in this critical area of behavioral health care, said Kati Cordts, PhD, Associate Director of Education and Training at BHECN, who will help oversee the project along with BHECN Deputy Director Erin O. Schneider, EdD.

“Our schools are truly a front line in our efforts to improve behavioral health in Nebraska, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Cordts said. “We are excited to launch this project and provide needed support in this crucial arena of behavioral health.”

BHECN will provide infrastructure and support the training and supervision needs of the graduate students in schools.

Along with placing graduate students in schools, the contract also will allow BHECN and UNO to sponsor 10 students to attend the upcoming Middle America School Mental Health Conference and Nebraska School Mental Health Conference at the end of May. 

“Many behavioral health graduate students are interested in working in our schools and this program can help some move toward forging careers that will allow them to provide powerful support for our school children,” Dr. Schneider said.