Invest in Nebraska's Future: Pass LB 998

Nebraska’s future prosperity depends on the health and well-being of our children. When we invest wisely in health-promoting services for our youngest generation, we ensure that all kids have the opportunity to find success in adulthood. There is a rising need for mental and behavioral health services among Nebraska children, especially in their classrooms. It is estimated that nearly half of Nebraska children who needed mental health treatment or counseling had issues accessing appropriate care, which can have serious consequences for their future success.

It’s time for Nebraskans to invest in a coordinated plan to support children’s mental and behavioral health in schools:
  • 83 of Nebraska's counties suffer from a shortage of mental health professionals
  • Promoting good mental health in childhood is a critical foundation for proper functioning and development later on in life
  • Growing mental and behavioral health needs among children put significant pressure on school resources and student success
  • Early and preventive treatment of behavioral and mental health issues among children results in cost savings in our costly child welfare and juvenile justice systems
  • An estimated 70% of youth involved in juvenile justice have an identified mental health disorder

LB 998, introduced by Senator Lynne Walz and prioritized by Senator Kate Bolz, creates the Collaborative School Behavioral and Mental Health Program. The program builds a framework for addressing behavioral and mental health needs in schools through the Educational Service Units (ESU) to coordinate a plan based on local needs and resources.

  • The program will be 100% privately funded through private contributions to a fund administered through the State Treasurer
  • A social worker will be placed in each ESU to provide supports to local districts, which will include identifying necessary training and working within communities to coordinate family-centered services
  • The program will be evaluated after three years, at which point each ESU may determine whether or not the program will continue, and will be funded by the ESU, school districts, state funds, and private donations
Contact your state senator today to ask them to support child mental and behavioral health by voting YES on LB 998.
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