Building Bright Futures is an Omaha based initiative focused on
providing educational excellence and equity for Douglas and Sarpy County
youth. Formed in April of 2007, Building Bright Futures has developed
six core areas of interest to include: Making the Most of Early
Childhood; Providing Academic Support and Career Awareness; After-School
Mentoring and Tutoring for Excellence; Reducing Truancy and Recovering
Lost Youth; Addressing Adolescent Behavioral Health; and Financing
Higher Education. Leaders of these six task forces have been identified
and have hosted community forums in an attempt to gather public input,
recommendations, and support.
Building Bright Futures is working to compile a comprehensive implementation plan that will be created within the context of a 15 year vision. Task force reports and recommendations will be provided to the public for an intensive evaluation period and the group hopes to begin funding programs necessary for the success of the plan.
The task force addressing behavioral health has identified issues to be addressed, including the creation of a comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated behavioral health system for children in Nebraska; focusing on prevention, early intervention, and collaboration; enhancing family involvement and community based care; facilitating access to services and coordination among service areas; and the importance of acquiring data needed for the creation of appropriate services. Dr. Rubens Pamies, vice chancellor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and chair of the behavioral health task force, together with vice-chair, Dr. Richard O’Brien with Creighton University Center for Health Policy and Ethics, will lead these initiatives.
Furthermore, Building Bright Futures Behavioral Health Task Force has identified numerous program ideas. Some such ideas include employing behavioral health specialist in schools, implementing mobile clinics, and creating clinical review teams. The task force is also looking at programs that other communities have found to be successful such as Active Community Treatment and Trauma Talk.
The Behavioral Health Task Force is looking to continue it efforts and coordinate their work with the Children’s Behavioral Health Task Force established by LB542.
For more information on Building Bright Futures please visit www.buildingbrightfutures.net.
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