Thank you for joining The Kim Foundation, as we unite in bringing
Excellence in Mental Health Care to all Nebraskans.
The administration and delivery of behavioral health services continues to advance on an almost daily basis. Remaining current with research, advanced practices, recognizing the importance of peer support programs, insights into family healing opportunities, and funding needs for addressing the fragmentation and gaps in services can be overwhelming. We appreciate the leadership and compassion of our legislative body as they focus their attention to Nebraska’s obligations and opportunities.
The Kim Foundation is providing these toolkits so that you will find a basic knowledge of mental health care, and have resources available to you that will supply you with additional insight or a deeper understanding of the issues, and suggestions as to where to seek additional information. Periodically we will send you updated information for your toolkit.
Mental Health Care, or Behavioral Health Care, covers a wide span of human behavior.
True mental illnesses are brain diseases with biological origin. They are not personality defects. Mental illnesses include (but are not limited to) illnesses known as Bi-Polar Disease, Major Depression, and Schizophrenia. Other mental illnesses, or behavioral illnesses, might include addictions, substance abuse, or anger management issues. Often a person with a mental illness will also have an addiction issue, resulting in the need to treat both the addiction and the illness simultaneously. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder we most often associate with members of the military, as it occurs when there is a perceived danger or threat to a person’s life. PTSD is also associated with an abused child, or a person caught by an act of violence.
It is estimated that one in five Americans have mental illness. When you visit the lunch room, consider the number of people present dealing with mental illness on a daily basis.
Resilience and Recovery are the accepted treatment models today. We believe the millions of Americans with mental illnesses, or behavioral disorders, need opportunities for healing, they need support for reaching their dreams of a sustainable, healthy life, and they need a life unfettered by old stigmas leading to isolation and hopelessness.
According to the President’s New Freedom Commission, in 1997, the US spent more than $71 Billion treating mental illnesses; about 57% of the mental health care is publicly funded. It is important that we work collaboratively in Nebraska, making treatment opportunities for families immediate, affordable, reliable, accessible, and effective. When hope and healing are available, more individuals can recover from even the more serious mental illnesses, becoming productive, responsible, tax payers.
More and more preschool age children are recognized as having mental illnesses. They are referred to as severe emotional disturbances. Through prevention and early intervention, children and families are taught to manage these illnesses. As we do for children with diabetes or cystic fibrosis, helping them learn to be responsible for managing their illness leads to more successful adolescent and adult years. Under our current systems, too many children with mental illness are fated to be failures in school, failures in life, and frequent candidates for incarceration, homelessness, and early death.
Another concern in the mental health arena is the growing number of vulnerable, elderly people with brain diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and even developmental disabilities. Again, we must maintain a spirit of cooperation and collaboration across Nebraska as we provide safe care for patients and the caregivers.
Thank you for caring about all Nebraskans; thank you especially for being protective and pro-active in the healing for those with mental illnesses in this time of Transformation. It will take courage and determination, changing ideas set over hundreds of years of misunderstanding brain diseases.
Nebraskans care about their neighbors, and work together to address community needs. United, we succeed in making hope and healing a reality for our neighbors with mental illnesses.
Julia Hebenstreit, J.D.
The Kim Foundation
13609 California Street
Omaha, NE 68154
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The Kim Foundation does not endorse the resources provided and does not accept liability or responsibility for incorrect information provided.