The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN, pronounced “beacon”) hosted the 5th annual High School Ambassador Conference in Kearney on April 1, 2017. The BHECN Ambassador Program recruits and mentors rural students from high school through college and professional school and into behavioral health professions.
The Ambassador Conference helps build the behavioral health workforce for rural Nebraska by investing in students from rural Nebraska and connecting them with information and resources to explore behavioral health careers.
This year, 31 high school juniors and seniors from throughout Nebraska attended the conference. A total of 46 facilitators consisting of faculty and students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), and Nebraska Wesleyan University, and providers representing diverse behavioral health and substance abuse professions presented and interacted with the students.
“For many students, this is the first time they’ve had a conversation with a professional in this field,” said BHECN’s Director, Howard Liu, M.D. “Gaining this type of exposure can have an indelible impression on their decision to pursue a career in behavioral health, and we hope to provide them with the resources and connections to encourage further exploration.”