Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2016

Julie Naughton, Public Information Officer, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-1695 or (cell) 402-405-7202, 

Memorial Service to be held on World Mental Health Day
for Those Buried in Norfolk Regional Center Cemetery

NORFOLK – Lucinda Palmer. Mary Miller. Edwin Hill. John Donegar. Maggie Fidderson. In life, they were valiant warriors against mental illness. In death, they – and 518 others buried at the Norfolk Regional Center - will be remembered on World Mental Health Day, Oct. 10.
On that day, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)  Region 4 Behavioral Health System’s Consumer Advisory Board is holding a memorial service to recognize those who lived, died and are buried at the Norfolk Regional Center. 

The remembrance – which will include a moment of silence and a reading of the names of those buried there - will take place at the Norfolk Regional Center cemetery, 1700 North Victory Road, at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 10.

“Our intention is to show respect for those who laid the foundation to break through the stigma of mental illness,” said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health. “We continue to educate, hoping to demonstrate that mental illnesses are common and treatable, and help is available. We want to replace stigma with hope.”
The Norfolk Regional Center, a psychiatric hospital which currently specializes in the rehabilitation of sexual offenders, was created by an act of the Nebraska Legislature in 1885. The first building was erected in 1885, then rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1901.
World Mental Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.