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Omaha Refugee Collaborative

The Omaha Refugee Mental Health Collaborative met last week to discuss the progress of the recently introduced mental health screening process. Until late, refugees in Omaha were only receiving a basic health screening upon arrival to their new home. Concerns began to arise when professionals working with the individuals and families were seeing symptoms of depression, PTSD, and anxiety in their clients. But because there was no mental health screening process established, most of these individuals would not seek or receive treatment.

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National Council Conference and Success, Hopes and Dreams

Several of our Nebraska colleagues joined together in Washington D.C. in May to attend the National Council for Behavioral Health Conference, and to participate in Hill Day. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to network, share ideas, and learn about national trends in the behavioral health field. The conference included presentations by Linda Rosenberg, Tom Insel, Mariel Hemingway, Bruce Perry, Hillary Clinton, Don Berwick, Patrick Kennedy, and many more! I for one left the conference feeling enlightened, and inspired to bring the energy of the week back to our office to make a difference in our work as we move forward.

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Program Highlight: “Project Harmony”

Part of my responsibilities as Project Coordinator, is to learn about our local agencies and their mental health services. I have begun scheduling tours of these various programs and recently had the opportunity to tour Project Harmony. Walking into Project Harmony you are greeted by color, art and warm smiles. Between the Lego wall, brightly colored carpet and custom made ceiling sculptures, the entrance is enough to make you briefly forget why they are there.

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OMAHA Gives!

As I look back over my first few weeks as Project Coordinator here at The Kim Foundation, I am overwhelmed by the positivity of the people and organizations we are able to work with every day. When your days are centered on suicide prevention and mental illness, it is easy to let these difficult topics overcome your thoughts and emotions.

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Mental Health First Aid

According to Mental Health First Aid USA, “Mental Health First Aid is an in-person training that teaches you how to help persons developing a mental illness or in a crisis.” A few weeks ago Dubuque County, Iowa hosted a free Mental Health First Aid training to over 30 people. Participants attended this two day training in order to learn what courses of action should be taken when one is thought to have a mental illness. Overall, the course helps to educate about mental health and how to help one get the professional services they may need.

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Light to Moderate Exercise Can Improve Anxiety and Depression

The snow has finally melted and our days are slowly getting warmer. People all over are hitting the gym just a little bit harder than normal to try and shed that pesky winter weight in time for swimsuit season! While we all know the physical health benefits of exercise, more studies are linking exercise to improvement of mental health. The benefits have proven particularly helpful in improving symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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Metro Area LOSS Team

The Metro Area LOSS Team is currently collecting applications for team members. If…

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2014 Pony Express Ride

The grass is turning from brown to green, and the trees are turning from bare to full. It is time to brush the dust from the winter months off that motorcycle, and come join a ride of a lifetime! May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month and an opportunity to bring awareness to the importance of positive mental health in all ages including children. In order to help build awareness around this topic, the Nebraska community is again hosting the Pony Express Ride.

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United Way Mental Health Panel

Representatives of United Way of the Midlands, Salvation Army and Community Alliance formed a panel at community event Monday to discuss the shortage of beds in residential treatment centers in Omaha. The need for additional inpatient and long term care facilities for people with mental illness is not new. However, it is a growing need, with only one in three people with a mental illness seeking help. “Longtime stigmas against acknowledging mental illness often prevent people from getting the help they need,” one panelist said.

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