Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
September 1, 2016

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

DHHS:  Behavioral Health Prevention Works,
Treatment is Effective, People Recover
September is National Recovery Month; Local Observances will be Held

Lincoln—Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is actively working to erase the stigma that often accompanies mental illness and substance use disorders and will be participating in National Recovery Month throughout September.
Gov. Pete Ricketts will proclaim September as National Recovery Month on Sept. 7 at the State Capitol. This year’s national theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery.”
“Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover, and our work is to help people feel empowered, encouraged, and confident in their resiliency and ability to take control of their future,” said Courtney Phillips, chief executive officer for Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services. 
DHHS is working with community partners to raise awareness across Nebraska, including:

  • Sept. 7, Lincoln: Artist of the Arboretum presentation at 9:30 am at the Lincoln Regional Center, Building 9, featuring Aaron Hraba, the artist in residence at the facility throughout September.
  • Sept.11, Ainsworth: Region 4 Behavioral Health Services will hold its Recovery Rally at East City Park at 1 pm.
  • Sept.17, Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa: Sixth Annual Hands Across the Bridge For Recovery, Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, 10 am.
  • Sept. 19, Lincoln:  Nebraska State Office Building display, first floor, will have information about recovery month as well as artwork from people who are in recovery.
  • Sept. 20, Gering: Region 1 Behavioral Health Services Consumer Input Committee and Speak Out will hold a family picnic for consumer and family groups in the region at Legion Park from 6 pm to 8 pm.
  • Sept. 23, Norfolk: The ninth annual Recovery Rally will be held at Sunrise Place at 923 E. Norfolk Ave. from 5 to 8 pm.
  • Sept. 30, Lincoln: Mental Health Walk, Lincoln Regional Center, 801 W. Prospector Place, 11 am to 1 pm. 

“Recovery is a process through which individuals are able to improve their wellness and live increasingly self-directed lives, and it is essential to overall health; it is directly related to the quality and longevity of the lives of those in recovery,” said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health.
Another DHHS effort is the creation of the Office of Consumer Affairs’ People’s Council, formed so that people in recovery can work with DHHS to reduce stigma and advocate for an integrated recovery-oriented behavioral health system.  The Council’s next meeting is Nov.1 at the Lincoln Community Foundation, 215 Centennial Mall South, Fifth Floor Conference Room, from 9:30 am to 3:15 pm and is open to the public.
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a National Helpline for those in need, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). Another resource is the Nebraska Family Helpline, 1-888-866-8660.