The Kim Foundation Blog features insights, news and resources on mental health and suicide prevention. Check back often to stay updated and informed.

Opportunity to Change the Mental Health Care System

Diseases of the brain cover a wide spectrum, affecting infants born with effects of depression, to the elderly touched by dementias. We at The Kim Foundation are grateful when consumers and family members allow us to share their personal story, as it does bring hope and encouragement to others.

We’d like to introduce a special mom, the mother of a young adult on the autism spectrum, who also experiences other mental health disorders. As a nurse, the mother attended Nurse’s Day at the Nebraska Legislature in Lincoln on February 3, 2011. Her story motivates readers to become involved in our legislative process, and to truly address the opportunity to change the mental health care system.

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Lessons Learned from Foster Care

Here is yet another story from one of the many people I have had the chance to meet through my work with The Kim Foundation whose wide range of gifts, talents, experiences, life journeys, and stories to tell inspire me. Each person we encounter enriches us as we observe their commitment, their courage, their faith, and their amazing personal resiliency. What incredible role models they have become for me!

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Finding Hope, Supporting Others with Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Because of our work with The Kim Foundation, we have the privilege of meeting people with a wide range of gifts, talents, experiences, life journeys, and stories to tell. Each person we encounter enriches us as we observe their commitment, their courage, their faith, and their amazing personal resiliency. What incredible role models they have become for me, and how inspiring their messages!

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Veteran Affairs Expands Services for Women

In 2009 and 2010 post traumatic stress disorder, hypertension, and depression were the top three diagnoses for women Veterans treated by the VA. Cindy Niemack-Brown, Women Veteran Program Manager feels these issues are high in women because females versus males have a tendency to delay their health care over others, often complicating the underlying health care issue.

“As a licensed mental health practitioner and a woman myself, I know that women pride themselves on taking care of others rather than themselves. Often, women who have been deployed have higher readjustment issues and cases of depression because it can be challenging adjusting and integrating back into the role of mother, care giver, or wife,” Niemack-Brown said. “We hear women say that when they come back after being deployed they don’t get the same kind of support or acknowledgement that men receive and they feel isolated.”

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OneWorld Community Health Center Starts Youth Navigator Program to Reach Foster Care Youth in Transition

A new program offered at OneWorld Community Health Center, The Youth Navigator Program, is now available to assist youth making the transition out of the foster care system to living independently within the community. The program, funded with a two-year grant, helps to develop a plan for participants to create and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as guide them in attaining their personal goals for the future.

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KVC Health Systems

An on going struggle for Nebraska families with children requiring mental health care is locating qualified treatment and finding ways to pay for the services. In an effort to address this struggle, Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services recently ‘privatized’ behavioral health care for children’s services by awarding contracts for comprehensive care to five lead agency providers. Three of the lead agencies have since terminated their contract with DHHS; the two remaining are Boys Town and KVC Health Systems. Priorities of these lead agencies include providing a single resource responsible for that family’s care, then coordinating recovery services and reunification for the family through that lead agency.

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Expanding Health Care Through Information Technology Solutions

Dr. Susan Boust, Medical Director of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, and Michael Rice, Associate Director, presented the Second Annual Behavioral Health Information Technology Summit in October. Technology is changing the way we provide health care and opportunities for enhancing the provision of mental health care are astounding.

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A Message of Thanks

We consider it a privilege to witness the internal evaluations and opportunity for re-design that agencies experience as they evolve into even greater providers of service. By strengthening opportunities for growing public awareness and acceptance of chronic brain disease as an illness to be treated, and cultivating a greater respect for the needs of consumers and their families, we see a more promising future in mental health care. The Kim Foundation does wish a life of hope and healing for every person and every family involved.

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An Opportunity for Learning, Kim Foundation Attends Community Events

I recently had the privilege of representing The Kim Foundation at various October meetings and events with the goal of inspiring an opportunity for more comprehensive and more successful mental health care for families. It is always a positive when others in the community recognize that mental illness affects one in four families and becomes involved in providing the community support programs necessary for sustained recovery.

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American Psychiatric Nurses Association Honors Michael Rice

Six extremely deserving individuals were recently honored at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s (APNA) 24th Annual Conference held October 13 – 16 in Louisville, Kentucky. Among the distinguished winners was University of Nebraska Medical Center Professor, Michael Rice, PhD, APRN, BC, FAAN, recipient of the Award for Excellence in Education.

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