Newsroom > DHHS News Release

December 31, 2009

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287
Kara Neuverth, Boys Town Marketing and Communications, (402) 498-1300

New Services Will Support Families of Youth with Behavioral Health Issues

Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services announced today that Boys Town will start up new services on January 1st that can help hundreds of Nebraska families. These new options are available as a result of LB 603, passed in 2009, which focused on improving access to behavioral health and other services for children and teens.

“Boys Town has a proven track record for providing these services and the professional resources that will greatly assist families of youth with behavioral health issues,” said Kerry Winterer, CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services. “These services will be important in our continuing to fulfill the mission of DHHS. This has come about through the leadership of Governor Heineman and the Legislature’s recognition that these are critical services.”

Two of the new services included in LB 603 will be available for parents, guardians and caregivers through Boys Town:

  • The Nebraska Family Helpline at (888) 866-8660 provides a single point of contact available 24/7 that’s operated by trained personnel and supervised by licensed behavioral health professionals. Helpline operators will screen calls for immediate safety needs, identify the potential level of the behavioral health crisis, make recommendations or referrals to appropriate resources, and help the caller connect to emergency resources or providers as necessary.
  • Family Helpline operators will connect eligible families to Family Navigator Services. These services, available within 24 to 72 hours after the Helpline referral, will help the family identify existing community-based services and provide family peer support by people with personal experience with children and teens with a severe emotional disorder.

“Boys Town's number one priority is helping families and kids,” said Father Steven Boes, Boys Town President and National Executive Director. “The Helpline and Family Navigator services give families that are struggling to meet their children's behavioral health needs an opportunity to get the right assistance at the right time.”