Newsroom > DHHS News Release

November 9, 2012
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or
Nebraska Family Helpline Celebrates 10,000th Call
Lincoln—Since its beginning in January 2010, the Nebraska Family Helpline has fielded more than 10,000 inbound calls from families seeking help for their children.
The Helpline is funded by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The toll-free number is 1-888-866-8660.
Parents call the Helpline when they are concerned with their child’s behaviors and are seeking assistance.  The Helpline provides support for families to deal with their immediate crisis and empower them with information and referrals to local services for ongoing support.
“A child’s behavioral problems can take a toll on everyone in the family or household,” said Scot L. Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health.  “The Helpline focuses on reducing the stress of the crisis being experienced by the caller, identifying immediate safety concerns, giving recommendations and linking callers to resources.”
The toll-free Helpline makes it easier for families to obtain assistance by providing a single contact point 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Trained operators screen calls to assess immediate safety needs, identify the potential level of a behavioral health crisis, make recommendations or referrals to appropriate resources, and help callers connect to emergency resources or providers. The operators are supervised by licensed behavioral health professionals.  The Helpline is operated by Boys Town. 
Of all the issues reported by callers, the top five regarding children had to do with not following family rules, being aggressive at home, arguing, conflicts with school authority figures and low grades.  Other issues were sibling relations, running away, aggression at school, depression and peer relations.
The calls come from parents, guardians, relatives, youth and third parties seeking assistance with a variety of mental and behavioral health issues. Counselors assist callers by:
  • Providing referrals for community services ranging from mental health experts to youth and education programs.
  • Linking families that require additional assistance to the Family Navigator service.
  • Sharing techniques for de-escalating contentious situations and establishing
    rules/expectations in the home.
  • Assessing possible safety risks related to behavioral health and contacting a crisis mobile response team or law enforcement on behalf of callers, if necessary.
  • Providing a sympathetic ear and words of encouragement to parents and caregivers about their family situations.
  • Linking eligible families to the Right Turn Post-Adoption/Post-Guardianship program.
The Helpline can connect eligible families to the Family Navigator Service, which helps families navigate through Nebraska’s behavioral health system more efficiently.  Family Navigator helps families identify existing community-based services and provides support from people who have had personal experience in the system.
For more information about resources, visit .
The Helpline is appropriated $1,390,584 per fiscal year in state general funds.