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Hill Day 2015

I’m excited to serve as this year’s National Council Hill Day State Captain for the state of Nebraska, and am grateful for former state senator, and current NABHO Executive Director, Annette Dubas’ help in the process. This year Hill Day will take place October 5th & 6th in Washington, D.C. It’s the biggest behavioral health advocacy event of the year, where hundreds of stakeholders join together to serve people living with mental illness and addictions by urging Congress to support our work. Hill Day is held in partnership with several national organizations including National Council for Behavioral Health, NAMI, Mental Health America, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, International Bipolar Foundation, Legal Action Center, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, and Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy.

I have participated in one previous Hill Day, and am excited to take part again this year. It provides a unique experience where you get to meet with our members of Congress and their staff regarding our field’s priorities, gain special insights into the legislative process with updates from political journalists and national health care experts, network with other advocates from Nebraska, and above all, provide a voice for those we serve who are impacted by mental illness. This year Chuck Todd from NBC’s Meet the Press will be speaking, along with Linda Rosenberg from the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Michael Botticelli from the National Drug Control Policy. Demi Lovato will also be attending Hill Day and advocating for those impacted by mental illness and speaking about her lived experience.

I would love to get as many Nebraskans there as we can! Registration for Hill Day is free and includes a day of workshops and a second day of meetings with Nebraska representatives. (Please note, that each individual must cover their own travel and lodging expenses). If you’ve ever had an interest in the legislative or political process, this is an excellent opportunity! At first talking with representatives may seem like a scary experience, but it really is a lot of fun! Plus, the National Council provides all of the relevant talking points and information, and we will all meet with our representatives together sharing the same message. We have three individuals from Nebraska confirmed to be attending, but I would love to see us get to at least 10 to advocate for those whose lives have been impacted by mental illness and behavioral health concerns. There is strength in numbers don’t forget, so please join us!

Annette and I will do all of the heavy lifting in terms of setting up appointments and gathering our information, we just need those who are interested to register and let me know you plan to be there. As the State Captain, I will work to keep our delegation organized and provide you with regular updates, and coordinate our meetings once we are there.

I encourage any of you who are interested to reach out and please let me know if you choose to register, or if you have any questions pertaining to Hill Day. You can reach me at 402.891.6997 or For more information you can visit
I hope to see you all in DC!


Julia Hebenstreit, Executive Director of The Kim Foundation
Julia received her J.D. from Creighton University in 2005, and her BS in Journalism from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2002. She has been with The Kim Foundation for three years, and prior to that worked for local non-profits doing development, strategic planning, communications and advancement. She has a passion for helping people and improving lives, and serves as an active member of the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition, the executive committee of the Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations, RESPECT Advisory Committee, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition and the Adolescent Mental Health Coalition. She also serves on the Women’s Fund Circles Board.