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Recent News Related to or Impacting Behavioral Health

Nebraska group's app aims to reduce youth suicides

Douglas County eyes ARPA millions for mental health center for jail and general public

Midlands Voices: New prison is most expensive, least effective option

Rising costs for care of vulnerable Nebraskans may be at odds with tax cut hopes

OWH Editorial: Contenders for Nebraska governor must demonstrate vision, leadership

US mandates vaccines or tests for big companies by Jan. 4

Nebraska officials criticize vaccine mandate; Ricketts says 'we will fight back'

GOP state officials, including in Nebraska, push back on employer vaccine mandate

Nebraska Budget Chair expects many requests for federal cash 

Audit raises more questions about embattled child welfare contractor in Omaha

Wishart says pandemic funding priorities can help shape Nebraska's future


NABHO News and Recent Activity

2021-2022 Annual Report

2022 Legislative Engagement

NABHO identified key pieces of legislation related to behavioral health and began testifying in early January 2022. The Executive Director and members of NABHO offer testimony and submit letters to various committees, including Appropriations, Health and Human Services, Judiciary, and Banking, Commerce and Insurance.

2021 Interim Hearings

Though standard Legislative Hearings have wrapped up for the 2021 Session, interim hearings will take place over the course of the fall. First, the Legislature will tackle the issue of redistricting. Then, the various committees will turn to other issues of interest. NABHO will testify on a variety of resolutions in our priority areas.

October 5, 2021 - LR178

Both Annette Dubas, Executive Director of NABHO and Topher Hansen, JD, President/CEO of CenterPointe and NABHO Treasurer testified before the Appropriations Committee on LR178, introduced by Senators Wishart (LD 27), Clements (LD 2), Dorn (LE 30), Erdman (LD 47), Hilkemann (LD 4), Kolterman (LD 24), McDonnell (LD 5), Stinner (LD 48), and Vargas (LD 7) "to solicit input from Nebraskans into how funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Public Law 117-2, would best e utilized and which funds the State of Nebraska should apply for."

Download and read Topher's full testimony by clicking here.

Download and read Annette's full testimony by clicking here.

September 15, 2021 - LR143

Katie McLeese Stephenson, MSW, Executive Director of Hope Spoke and NABHO President-Elect testified before the Health and Human Services Committee on LR143, introduced by Senator Stinner (LD 48) "to examine the mental and behavioral health needs of Nebraskans, assess the current shortages of providers, services, and resources, and determine what is needed to ensure an adequate behavioral health service delivery system."

Download and read her testimony by clicking here.

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 Past Activity

2020 Interim Hearings

Public hearings are an important part of our legislative process In Nebraska, every bill is assigned to a committee and must have a public hearing. The hearing allows citizens to voice their opinions and provide insights and expertise to senators. When the Legislature is not in session, committees hold hearings on interim study resolutions (LRs) rather than bills (LBs). NABHO regularly testifies on bills and interim studies related to behavioral health.

This interim, NABHO has been watching several LRs:

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 10 a.m.

LR 445 (Stinner) – Interim study to update data and review the potential impact on the state behavioral health system by expanding access to prescribing psychologists

Annette Dubas, NABHO Executive Director testified before the Committee. If you would like to read her testimony, you can read it here.

Link not published yet

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 1:30 p.m.

LR350 (Arch) – Interim study to examine the role of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020

NABHO President, Chase Francl, testified at the hearing. His testimony noted that COVID-19 has required a rapid transition to telehealth for nearly every one of NABHO's member organizations. While telehealth has been a lifeline to keep our member organizations afloat, we have encountered significant challenges in the areas of regulation, reimbursement, and quality of care.  You can read the full testimony here.

Link to recorded hearing of LR350

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 10 a.m.

LR404 (Morfeld) – Interim study to provide continued oversight of and updates regarding the execution and administration of Medicaid expansion by the Department of Health and Human Services

Link to recorded hearing of LR404

You can find links to live hearings as well as more recordings of interim study hearings here.

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Here are some resources that may help you stay up-to-date with the state of behavioral health care and advocacy nation-wide:

Advocacy Handbook - from The National Council

Mental Health First Aid –
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health)-
Mental Health American –
National Institute of Mental Health –

Advocacy and Mental Health in Nebraska

Advocacy is central to our mission, ensuring that quality behavioral health services, including substance use and mental health services, are accessible to everyone in our state.  Download this PDF for tips and tools related to becoming and effective advocate!

Suicide is a Public Health Issue

We would also like to make available to you guidelines for talking about suicide. Here is a downloadable PDF of Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide.

Looking for more?

Still looking for more information? Visit our Important Links Page or consult our list of Hotlines.