Omaha Mental Health Professionals Carefully Share Resources and Concerns

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) — The Omaha community is beginning to recover from Tuesday’s target shooting in which no one was injured or killed except the shooter.

3 News Now spoke to the shooter’s uncle on Wednesday. He believes this could have been avoided if mental health resources were more available to his nephew.

So what do mental health resources look like in Omaha right now?

3 News Now reporter Molly Hudson spoke with Region 6 and UNMC to find out how resources are available and their challenges.

“Most people with mental health are not prone to violence,” said UNMC doctor Howard Liu.

Liu says there has been a surge in people seeking mental health care over the past decade, but opportunities have not kept pace.

“You can’t have access to mental health care if you don’t have a professional to examine someone, right,” Liu said.

He says the shortage of providers was a major problem before the pandemic and has only gotten worse.

But ARPA’s recent investment in the Behavioral Health Education Center in Nebraska could change that.

“This group is really working full time to make sure that across the state, from small rural towns to South Omaha to North Omaha, we have access to a flood of new suppliers. Be it consultants, psychologists, psychiatrists. was really important,” Liu said.

But there are problems with the system.

Liu says the workforce, insurers, payers and outpatient care plan play a role in the stay.

“Of course, resources are not unlimited, and it is expensive. I think sometimes you have to justify this length of stay, sometimes there can be disagreements between the clinical team and the payer, and in the end people have to go out.” he said.

It is important to note that there are resources available such as telephone hotlines.

“There might be a problem with how to navigate this system, but we want people to know that resources are available,” said Miles Glasgow, Senior System Coordination Manager, Behavioral Health Region 6.

Region Six believes that cost should not be a barrier and has a network of providers for those with or without insurance.

“These providers at our disposal are available for outpatient therapy, for evaluations, for substance use services, mental health and dual diagnosis services,” Glasgow said.

Both UNMC and Region 6 aim to reduce mental health-related stigma and encourage communication.

“Make sure mental health is considered as important as physical health. And I think if we can keep doing that, it will help with access,” Glasgow said.

“It’s okay not to be okay, and it’s okay to ask for help,” Liu said.


Behavioral Health Relations Unit402-836-9292 / Monday – Friday, 8:00 – 16:00

Nebraska Families Helpline888-866-8660 / Monday – Sunday, 24/7

988 Suicide Prevention LifelineDial 988 / Always available

Nebraska Adult Emergency Mental Health Service Medical800-922-0000 / Making an appointment


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