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Grant Spotlight: Methodist Hospital Foundation

Organization Name: Methodist Hospital Foundation

Mission: Methodist Hospital Foundation strengthens the health of our communities by the way we care, educate and innovate.

Funded Program Description: Methodist Community Counseling Program (MCCP) puts a licensed mental health professional in every Omaha Public high school, middle school and alternative program; all three Metropolitan Community College campuses; and neighborhood locations through our communities.

MCCP’s overarching goal is to meet a primary and growing community need by increasing access to mental health care. Services include suicide prevention, crisis intervention, professional counseling and education classes.

Top presenting problems include:

  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety
  3. Behavior/conduct
  4. Trauma
  5. Stress

In total, counselors conducted 9,502 sessions in 2023, a 27% increase over 2022. The national no show rate for outpatient mental health services is 18-20%. MCCP’s no show rate is 10% — a testament to the impact of meeting students and community members where they are.

Approximately 80% of MCCP’s secondary education clients qualify for Medicaid. Due to the generosity of funders such as The Kim Foundation, no student is turned away due to the inability pay.

To reach students over the summer, MCCP partners with community programs such as Girls Inc., Boys and Girls Club, Upward Bound and Completely Kids.

Successes of Program or Inspirational Stories: Methodist Community Counseling Program is improving lives one person at a time.

A young client has hope for the future – a remarkable step forward after wrestling with suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Doctors discussed psychiatric hospitalization but, first, wanted to see if counseling could be effective. It was.

In working with MCCP, the student learned various coping strategies and began practicing gratitude and positive distraction: spending time with friends, working, and doing activities that bring happiness.

It’s been months since the client has experienced suicidal thoughts. Because of the progress, doctors are encouraged that hospitalization is no longer needed.

Another student, Jacqueline*, had lost passion for high school. She was struggling with depression and anxiety, and she didn’t have the tools she needed to cope.

“Given my circumstances dealing with anxiety, there was a time when I was considering dropping out,” she said. Instead, she connected with an MCCP counselor who “motivated me and stuck with me through my stresses.”

“It’s not enough to just sit there and take it on yourself. Sometimes you need to reach out,” Jacqueline said. “This was a perfect program where I could talk to somebody.”

Today, Jacqueline attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on multiple scholarships. “Without the program, I honestly might not have been able to graduate high school,” she said.

* Name used with permission

Other Comments: Methodist Community Counseling Program has been serving clients for almost three decades—a collaborative effort of Methodist Hospital Foundation, Omaha Public Schools and numerous community partners.

MCCP counselors work closely with OPS social workers, guidance counselors and teachers to ensure students receive all of the necessary support to help them succeed in the classroom, including referrals for those needing a higher level of specialized care.

Collaboration is key to MCCP’s reach and success. MCCP relies on – and is deeply grateful for – the support of Omaha Public Schools, Metropolitan Community College, community partners and generous funders, including The Kim Foundation.

Program Contact:
Ellen McElderry LIMHP, LADC
Program Manager
Methodist Community Counseling Program