Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970
Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967
Gov. Ricketts and DHHS Promote Mental Health, Announce Suicide Prevention Campaign
DHHS Director of Behavioral Health Sheri Dawson (podium) and Gov. Ricketts
(right of podium) at this morning’s press conference.
LINCOLN – This morning, Governor Pete Ricketts recognized September as Suicide Prevention Month during a press conference at the State Capitol. He emphasized the need to be vigilant for signs of mental illness, especially given the rising rates of depression/anxiety occasioned by the pandemic. Gov. Ricketts also commended the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the agency’s ongoing efforts to promote mental health.
“Our state has been very proactive in ensuring that Nebraskans have access to behavioral health resources,” said Gov. Ricketts. “These efforts have shown success. According to U.S. News and World Report, Nebraska ranks 4th nationally in mental health. In September, we’re spotlighting the mental health resources available to Nebraskans, as well as introducing our new suicide prevention media campaign—Nebraska Needs You.”
DHHS Director of Behavioral Health, Sheri Dawson, overviewed the resources available to Nebraskans confronting mental health challenges. She also introduced a suicide prevention media campaign called Nebraska Needs You. The Kim Foundation is one of many organizations partnering with the State on the initiative. Kim Foundation Executive Director Julia Hebenstreit took part in this morning’s press conference to discuss ways to help and support people experiencing suicidal ideation. Anyone who would like to talk about their mental health—or seek help for a loved one—can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Nebraska Family Helpline at 888-866-8660.
Today, Gov. Ricketts also announced the State will launch a new data dashboard at dhhs.ne.gov to help track hospital capacity across Nebraska. The Governor issued Executive Order 21-14, effective immediately, to waive state statutes so that the data can be temporarily reported. The dashboard will remain active as long as 10% or more of the State’s staffed hospital beds are being used to care for coronavirus patients on a seven-day rolling average. The Governor made clear that the State has no plans to re-institute Directed Health Measures impacting businesses, schools, or events. Additionally, he encouraged Nebraskans to get vaccinated, citing the effectiveness of the vaccine to reduce the likelihood of severe cases of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.
Video of today’s press conference is available by clicking here.
Source: EIN Presswire