Guide to Finding Mental Health Professionals in Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska and the 40th largest city in the nation. The city became a national transportation hub due to its central location in the U.S. This geographic windfall led to transportation and the wholesale industry becoming important economic contributors to Omaha. Four Fortune 500 companies are currently headquartered in the city. Skilled knowledge-based employment and tourism add to its economy.
Civil unrest, labor struggles, environmental disasters, and both recessions detrimentally impacted Omaha. In the early 2000’s, the city built itself up with growth and expansion. Several skyscrapers were built, various new construction, and business parks. Redevelopments at the Missouri Riverfront as well as the opening of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge increased downtown foot and bicycle traffic.
The city has a total area of 130.58 square miles (338.20 km2) and the population is estimated to be 466,893, according to the United States Census Bureau. The humid continental climate leads to frequent thunderstorms. Omaha was ranked as the 5th coldest U.S. city by the Weather Channel in 2014.
The marriage rate in Nebraska increased steadily in the 1960’s, then peaked in the 1970’s, and have been declining ever since then. There were 6,108 divorces settled in Nebraska in 2015. The 2015 number translates into a rate of 3.2 divorces per 1,000 people. This rate is lower than the overall country’s rate of 3.6 per 1000*.
The City’s Mental Health Concerns
Receiving mental health treatment in Omaha is a large challenge. In June 2015, the Nebraska Behavioral Health Workforce reported that 48 of Nebraska’s 93 counties did not have a mental or behavioral health provider. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Nebraska helps conduct more than a dozen support groups statewide and manages the city chapters. The funding for this organization was cut by $60,000 this year. This is not the only challenge for those who experience mental health symptoms. Stigma is a severely large deterrent in Omaha, especially in rural areas.
Serious mental health illness affects approximately 91,000 people in the state of Nebraska. About 5% of the youth are impacted by mental illness through their own individual experience or through their parents’ illnesses. The third leading cause of death for the ages between 8 and 24 is suicide. There are two-thirds of this demographic who are not getting any treatment at all.
Omaha is dealing with an opioid epidemic along with the rest of the nation. However, Nebraska has remained our nation’s leader in preventing overdose deaths. In 2017, they exceeded the Division of Public Health’s goal in having 90% of community pharmacies to electronically connect to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) by including 100%. And, in 2018, they surpassed their goal to register healthcare providers into the program by finishing the project six months earlier than expected. They created an outlined, comprehensive, and progressive plan to continue to prevent opioid abuse.
How We Can Help
Choosing to receive treatment is an important step in healing from mental health symptoms and conditions. Once this decision is made, we would like to help make it easier for you to find the right fit for yourself. We compiled a list of providers and organizations below. It is beneficial to determine what is important to you regarding the provider and list those items to narrow down your selection. Do you care about their gender? Their specialties? Their education and training?
List your symptoms and concerns, so you do not forget any of them when you have your first discussion with a treatment provider. If you can remember, write down when they started and how frequent they are. Include any relationship concerns and substance / alcohol abuse issues.
There are approximately 380 therapists, psychologists, and licensed social workers in Omaha. There is an estimate of 16 treatment centers in the city. Omaha has approximately 234 psychiatrists.
Boys Town has been providing crisis care and mental health support since 1917. Their slogan is “Saving Children / Healing Families”, since they offer programs for the child and the family as a whole. Additional services include in-home counseling and educational programs.
Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare offers crisis support, a mental health respite, detoxification services, and emergency community support. Care is provided to those who are non-insured.
Nonprofit Mental Health Organizations
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Omaha facilitates the Connections Groups. This program is free for those individuals who are recovering from mental illness. The Family Support Group is a free, monthly meeting for family and friends who have a loved one suffering from mental illness. NAMI Nebraska offers some free mental health support educational classes and low-cost membership support groups. They provide a free class for friends and families of Veterans who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), trauma, and other mental health issues. The online class offers the same form of interaction as the in-person class.
Heartland Family Services provides mental health services, substance abuse treatment, gambling addiction treatment, and support for victims of crime. They facilitate prevention programs for children to reduce risk-taking behavior and to promote healthy life choices to lower the rates of crisis or intervention.
Center for Holistic Development is a nonprofit behavioral healthcare organization that provides education, prevention, community outreach, and outpatient counseling. They provide services for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. For youth and adults, prevention programs are available. These early intervention programs address anger management, alcohol and substance use prevention, and suicide prevention. Services are provided in the office or in the home. This organization is led by the Guidelines and Principles Best Practices of the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands.
The Community Alliance started as a grassroots support organization in 1981 and was the first independent community health program in Nebraska that exclusively served adults. This nonprofit focuses on helping people recover from mental illness by integrating mental health services and primary care with a full comprehensive treatment plan. The Alliance offers short-term crisis support.
The Mental Health Association is the only peer operated nonprofit organization that offers alternative treatment offers for mental health and substance abuse issues within Nebraska. Additionally, they have the HOME B.A.S.E. (Bullying and Suicides Eliminated) program that offers on-going wellness support groups. This association is approximately 56 minutes from Omaha, however, they offer many online resources.
CHI Health provides mental health services for those suffering from severe symptoms. They help adolescents, adults, and seniors. They offer inpatient services, outpatient clinics, and partial hospitalization.
Douglas County Community Mental Health Center provides mental health treatment for the residents who are underserved. They offer inpatient services, outpatient counseling, psychological testing, day treatment, and medication follow-up appointments. They offer two free support groups. One is for people who are experiencing mental health symptoms. The other group is for family members who have a loved one who has mental illness.