The Kim Foundation Blog

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

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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‘Mental Illness’ is a Very Narrow Focus

Kathy Seacrest has been a friend to those needing mental health care for many years. She is recognized in Nebraska for her leadership in Region 2 and respected for addressing one of our country’s greatest health care flaws: allowing stigma to prejudice the course of treatment for those with mental illnesses. The Kim Foundation would like to share an article written by Ms. Seacrest and Teresa Ward, LIMPH, Director of Day Rehab and Outpatient Services for Region II Human Services and add our thanks and appreciation for her letter.

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Opportunity to Change the Mental Health Care System

Diseases of the brain cover a wide spectrum, affecting infants born with effects of depression, to the elderly touched by dementias. We at The Kim Foundation are grateful when consumers and family members allow us to share their personal story, as it does bring hope and encouragement to others.

We’d like to introduce a special mom, the mother of a young adult on the autism spectrum, who also experiences other mental health disorders. As a nurse, the mother attended Nurse’s Day at the Nebraska Legislature in Lincoln on February 3, 2011. Her story motivates readers to become involved in our legislative process, and to truly address the opportunity to change the mental health care system.

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Lessons Learned from Foster Care

Here is yet another story from one of the many people I have had the chance to meet through my work with The Kim Foundation whose wide range of gifts, talents, experiences, life journeys, and stories to tell inspire me. Each person we encounter enriches us as we observe their commitment, their courage, their faith, and their amazing personal resiliency. What incredible role models they have become for me!

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