Members of a U.S. Senate committee detailed a complicated patchwork of issues that contribute to youth mental health challenges, including violence and trauma within schools and communities, the damaging effects of social media. (Getty Images) (Getty Images)
OMAHA — More than $3 million in federal pandemic relief funding is to be awarded to 27 projects across Nebraska to develop, expand and train behavioral health workers.
The grants are the second and final cycle of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to be distributed by the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska. They follow the nearly $20 million in ARPA funds the center awarded to 83 projects in January.
This final round means the center has now allocated all of the ARPA funds that the Nebraska Legislature charged it with distributing to address the impact of the pandemic and need for workers in that area, according to a statement from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
For round two, the center received 150 applications requesting more than $25 million across four categories.
“We are excited to support these amazing projects that will help address our state’s critical shortage of behavioral health workers,” said Dr. Marley Doyle, director of BHECN.
Doyle said the center was overwhelmed by the number of applications received which, she said, highlights the need for behavioral health services in the state.
About 40% of the projects selected in the latest round are based in rural parts of the state, while the other 60% are to be led by organizations in urban areas.
“The COVID-19 pandemic particularly exacerbated behavioral health workforce issues in rural Nebraska and we are grateful to be able to provide needed support to organizations looking to address these vital issues,” Doyle said.
Jessica Buche, the center’s ARPA award director, said that the BHECN is providing training and assistance to awardees that have limited experience in grants.
The BHECN was created by the Nebraska Legislature in 2009, through the passage of Legislative Bill 603, to address the shortage of behavioral health care workers. The center’s mission is to recruit, retain and increase competency of that workforce within the state.
The 27 second-round grants were divided into four categories:
Behavioral health training and education opportunities:
Completely Kids, Omaha, $71,000
Mary Lanning Healthcare, Hastings, $58,000
Mid-Plains Center for Behavioral Healthcare Services, Grand Island, $55,000
CenterPointe, Lincoln, $72,000
AM Counseling and Consulting, Bellevue, $72,000
Siena Francis House, Omaha, $72,000
Telebehavioral health in rural areas:
Silver Sun Mental Health, dba Nebraska Mental Health Centers, Lincoln, $13,911
Banisters Leadership Academy, Omaha, $500,000
CEDARS Youth Services, Lincoln, $114,965
Health Center Association of Nebraska, Omaha, $800,000
Boone County Health Center, Albion, $44,199
Pender Community Hospital District, Pender, $556,326
Compass, Kearney, $145,645
For All Counseling Services, Omaha, $24,952
Behavioral health workforce COVID-19 projects:
Silver Sun Mental Health, dba Nebraska Mental Health Centers, Lincoln, $50,000
Options in Psychology, Scottsbluff, $20,000
University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha $50,000
Midtown Health Center, Norfolk, $19,898
University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, $50,000
Heartland Counseling Services, South Sioux City, $50,000
UNMC Wellness Center, Omaha, $50,000
Lincoln Medical Education Partnership, Lincoln, $10,000
Heartland Family Service, Omaha, $50,000
Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers, Omaha, $50,000
Funding for supervision of provisionally licensed providers:
Inspirit Counseling, PC, Chadron, $100,000
Mid-Plains Center for Behavioral Healthcare Services, Grand Island, $100,000
Cirrus House, Scottsbluff, $100,000
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