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New Website Improving Mental Health Access in Omaha Area Launches
Approximately one in five adults experience mental illness in a given year, and approximately 20 percent of youth ages 13 to 18 live with a mental health condition. Project Harmony, in partnership with The Kim Foundation, Project Everlast, and Region 6 Behavioral Health, has joined efforts to improve access to mental health resources and treatment for children and families in our community through one dedicated website, NebraskaMentalHealth.com.
The new website is a one-stop shop for those navigating their mental health needs and searching for mental health practitioners in the Omaha area. It brings unbiased data, local resources, and a wealth of information to a single accessible user-friendly location. It isn’t just about finding a mental health provider, it is about feeling informed and empowered. With new resources added continually, NebraskaMentalHealth.com addresses basic needs, children and family resources, hotlines and emergency numbers, mental health resources, definitions of evaluations and treatment models, and a database of local providers.
The website has been in the development process since 2013 after the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) noted that there were a growing number of children and youth who needed better access and more appropriate mental health services. Nebraska Families Collaborative and Project Harmony initiated a Partners for Systems Change effort, inviting agencies and stakeholders to come together to improve access to mental health services for children and youth in Douglas and Sarpy counties.
Funded by The Kim Foundation, with added support from Region 6 Behavioral Health Network, Project Everlast, and Project Harmony, more than 30 organizations and 53 individuals identified the need for a centralized mental health website.
“A unique feature of the website is that it can guide a person to a mental health provider who best matches the individual’s need,” said Connections Director, Deb Anderson.
The website includes a search tool that allows guests to view available mental health professionals in their area. The different filters allow visitors to select preferred areas of practice, ages served, specialized trainings, payment options and insurance accepted, languages spoken, and certifications to name a few. This puts the consumer in control of choosing the appropriate service provider for their specific and unique needs.
It can be overwhelming enough trying to comprehend a diagnosis let alone understand what treatment options are available. The ‘Definitions’ tab provides the user with a list of evaluations and treatment model definitions. This feature thoroughly explains the treatment’s focus, who the treatment is intended for, the general length of treatment, and what required certifications or special trainings the therapist would be required to have.
NebraskaMentalHealth.com also offers additional community resources including basic needs, such as clothing and utility assistance, transportation, housing programs, food pantries, employment, and shelters. The ‘Mental Health Resource’ tab includes information on different disorders (including sleep, substance, and eating disorders), local support groups, medication management, and respite care.
Whether you are a mental health professional or someone who is experiencing a mental health concern for the first time, NebraskaMentalHealth.com allows you to take control of you and your family’s mental well-being in one easy-to-use site.
Thank you to Project Harmony’s, Angela Roeber and Deb Anderson, for their contribution to this article!
Jill Hamilton, Project Coordinator, The Kim Foundation
Jill Hamilton has been the Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation since 2014. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from The University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. Since working at the foundation, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, Nebraska LOSS Advisory Committee, The Omaha Metro Hoarding Taskforce, The Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, Nebraska State Conference Planning Committee; she is a volunteer mentor with Y.E.S., and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Area LOSS Team.