Nebraska Behavioral Health Policy Forum 2021

 Special Guest Speakers |  View the recording for the 2021 Forum video

As we closed in on the second year of the pandemic, rates of anxiety and depression were at all times highs. There were workforce shortages across every industry, with some of the most alarming shortages occurring in healthcare and behavioral health. Nebraskans were reaching out for help but often found long waiting lists or no behavioral health provider near them at all.  

Policymakers were in a unique position to create long-lasting, sustainable changes to help address the mental health needs of all Nebraskans. 

The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska's (BHECN) 2nd Annual Nebraska Behavioral Health Policy Forum was held live and recorded on November 29 from 12-1pm CST.

The Forum featured a brief overview of Nebraska’s behavioral health workforce and presentations from Nebraska State Senators John Arch and Senator Jen Day on potential policy solutions to address these unprecedented challenges. 

Special Guest Speakers


Senator Jen Day

Senator Day was sworn into office in 2021 and represents District 49 and the area of western Sarpy County in Nebraska.

Born and raised in her home district, she has spent her lifetime building community and advocating for social justice issues.

She co-founded Artis Strength and Fitness in 2013 with her husband, Jon, and graduated with a degree in Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2016.

As a business owner, activist, and mother of 2 boys, she initially sought a legislative seat to address the needs of her community, specifically working-class families.

In her first legislative session, Senator Day introduced and passed bills that addressed issues related to child welfare, mental health, and education. She currently serves on the Education, Health and Human Services, and Performance Audit committees.


Senator John Arch

Senator John Arch represents District 14 in the Nebraska Legislature. Before beginning his first term on January 9, 2019, Senator Arch served in health care administration for over 30 years.

For the last 25 years, he worked for Boys Town in its health care division, the last seven as Executive Vice President of Health Care and Director of the National Research Hospital and Clinics. As the CEO of the hospitals and clinics, John was responsible for all Boys Town healthcare services including two hospitals in Omaha, outpatient clinics, behavioral health services and research operations.

In the Legislature, John serves as Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and as a member of the General Affairs and Urban Affairs Committees.

John has been married to Brenda since 1978 and they have two sons (Cameron and Nicholas), two daughter's-in-law (Liz and Shannon), and four grandchildren. John and Brenda have lived in Papillion and La Vista since 1990.

View the recording for the 2020 Forum video