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Last week, students across District 1 loaded their backpacks and went back to school. As we transition from summer into fall, my hope is to use this week’s column to share resources that Nebraska families can use for guidance on mental and behavioral health as they navigate the new school year.
Outside of mental health services which may be offered in your child’s school, there are a number of helplines available to help those who need to talk or are seeking advice on resources available to them. Three of the most comprehensive, Nebraska-based numbers are listed below.
The Nebraska Family Helpline: 888-866-8660
The Nebraska Rural Response Hotline: 800-464-0258
Universal Resource Navigation: 211
The Nebraska Family Helpline is designed to be a one-stop shop for parents with kids of all ages, who have any type of question regarding their child’s behavior. Trained Helpline operators screen calls on every topic, from behavioral information for toddlers to mental health crisis information for teens. Operators can also help connect families with community- and state-based resources. The Helpline is supervised by licensed mental health professionals and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Nebraska Rural Response Hotline is provided through the Farm Crisis Response Council. Rural residents can call this number for confidential advice about mental health services and vouchers available for such programs.
211 is a free, comprehensive information and referral system linking Iowa and Nebraska residents to health and human service programs, community services, disaster services, and governmental programs. In short, 211 is a one-stop source of information for people looking for services ranging from food pantries to crisis intervention services.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services also has extensive resources dedicated to children’s behavioral health, which can be found at: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Childrens-Behavioral-Health.aspx. There is a wealth of additional resources available on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website (dhhs.ne.gov).
Heading back-to-school and other transitions in life can be tough on children and adults alike. There’s no shame in asking for help when needed.
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.