The Kim Foundation Blog

Insights, news and resources on mental health and suicide prevention.

Consumer-Led Change and Research Programs Help Advance Mental Health Issues

Through our work at The Kim Foundation, we have had the privilege of visiting several service providers and consumer run programs these past two months. We are encouraged and pleased to see consumers continue to play an expanding role in determining the course of treatment for mental illnesses and we applaud those efforts. When the people directly affected by mental illness feel respected and confident, when they know their voices matter, they become more willing to share their stories, needs, and goals. Community service providers and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services then have the opportunity to respond by helping to implement appropriate community resources that meet those needs.

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Trauma Informed Care Programs

When a person is involved in a traumatic event, like a car crash, a team of surgeons work to fix the physical damage that may have been caused. But how is the emotional and mental damage caused by the event resolved? Scott Carlson, a mental health professional and Director of Heartland School says that like any other wound left untreated, trauma will continue to fester in a person and can show up in acting out behaviors like ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder, or depression.

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Understanding EPSDT and How it Affects Health Care Services

Many Nebraska mental health care providers are asking “What is EPSDT, and how can it serve my clients?” It is not a new program; rather it is something that was established by Medicaid in about 1967. It is the child health component, known as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program. Quoting from the Health Resources and Services Administration, “Federal law – including statutes, regulations and guidelines – requires that Medicaid cover a very comprehensive set of benefits and services for children, different from adult benefits. Since one in three U.S. children under age six is eligible for Medicaid, EPSDT offers a very important way to ensure that young children receive appropriate health, mental health, and developmental services.”

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Ted E. Bear Hollow Adds New Youth Program

Since 2001, Ted E. Bear Hollow has provided a safe place to express emotions, to remember loved ones openly, and to learn ways to care for themselves in the sad times. Through support groups, day camps, retreats and a variety of programs, Ted E. Bear Holllow has helped thousands of children and their loved ones move beyond their grief of the loss of a loved one to death toward healing. Today, Ted E. Bear Hollow is the premier resource for grieving children, teens, and their families in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area.

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Highlighting Organizations Working to Provide Help, Hope and Healing

It doesn’t seem so very long ago that words referring to mental illnesses were spoken in whispers and locating resources for individuals and families needing help, hope, and healing became a complex struggle. We still have room to grow, improve, change attitudes, and enhance resources, but we are proud of all the programs and opportunities offered today, as well as the resources available that are fairly recent concepts for Nebraska. We take pride in the opportunities to reduce stigmas and support some of the local organizations, like the following, doing wonderful things.

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Heartland Family Service Assessment, Support and Prevention Program

Law enforcement officers and medical personnel are called into situations every day where they are asked to make decisions regarding the needs of individuals experiencing crisis – some of these crisis involve individuals suffering from mental illness. The Assessment, Support and Prevent Program (ASAP) offered through Heartland Family Service is a team of volunteer, on-call licensed therapists trained in crisis intervention and communication who respond to Sarpy County Law Enforcement Officials in crisis situations.

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Help Lines and Support Groups Available for Shoplifters and Gamblers

The Kim Foundation believes in promoting opportunities for more meaningful mental health care for everyone. Promoting local programs that create hope for recovery and help in developing the tools and skills needed for change has become part of our vision. Understanding that many people struggle to change harmful behaviors, we’d like to recognize two fairly new programs addressing compulsive behaviors.

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From Rights to Reality: A Plan for Parent Advocacy and Family-Centered Child Welfare Reform

From Rights to Reality is designed to unite parents and parent advocacy around a common set of goals. It identifies 15 rights for parents affected by the child welfare system. Most parents do not yet have these rights in child welfare proceedings. From Rights to Reality represents a commitment to working in our communities and nationwide to make these rights a reality.

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