Public Psychiatric Hospitals

Behavioral Health
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What you need to know

​​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) directly operates two public psychiatric hospitals (Regional Centers) in Lincoln and Norfolk, Nebraska, treating a variety of issues, including:

  • General psychiatric service
  • Forensic psychiatric service
  • Sex offenders program


Lincoln Regional Center

The Lincoln Regional Center, a 250 bed, Joint Commission-accredited state psychiatric hospital inpatient and residential program, operated by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. It serves people who need very specialized psychiatric services and provides services to people who, because of mental illness, require a highly structured treatment setting. The patients served at the Lincoln Regional Center are limited to people who meet the involuntary admission criteria and are referred by either the courts or Mental Health Boards. The scenic 107 acre campus is also the site of a State Arboretum with over 400 species of plants and trees. Nature paths and extensive wildlife help create a peaceful environment for care and treatment.​


  • General Psychiatric Service
  • Forensic Psychiatric Service
  • Sex Offenders Program

Psychiatric Services: These are services for people with severe and persistent mental illness who have been committed by a mental health board due to mental illness and dangerous behaviors. The primary mission of the programs is to help individuals stabilize and return to live in the community.   Interdisciplinary treatment teams develop individualized treatment plans based upon assessments completed at the time of admission. Discharge planning is part of the treatment plan, and starts when an individual is admitted.

In addition, Psychiatric Services provide evaluation, assessments, and treatment for individuals as ordered by the Nebraska legal systems. The program offers a structured treatment approach which is individualized to the specific needs of the individual patients. Individuals admitted to one of these areas typically have severe and persistent psychiatric disorders, and are ordered for evaluation or treatment through the court.

Sex Offender Service: The Sex Offender Service provides treatment for patients who have a history of sexually deviant behavior. The population includes individuals identified as convicted sex offenders serving sentences through the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and those individuals who have been committed under an inpatient mental health board order for sex offender treatment. In addition, a transition program works to gradually release the patients with appropriate safeguards to allow patients the opportunity to successfully return to the community.

Whitehall Campus: The Whitehall Campus provides two treatment programs for male adolescents. A residential substance use treatment program began at Whitehall in 2020. Another program addresses the treatment needs of male adolescents who have offended sexually. Youth who complete treatment at Whitehall have a low incidence of reoffending sexually, based on an independent study that followed the youth over seven years from completion of treatment.​ Each youth has his own room. Both programs are family-centered and have their own school on the campus. 


County Jail Reimbursement Form and Process:
In accordance with LB921, passed during the 2022​ session. NEDHHS has created an easy to use form along with instructions for county jails to be able to bill the state. Beginning 30 days after a formal court order placing an individual in the care of DHHS to receive treatment to restore competency, the county may use the attached form to submit billings for reimbursement of $103 per day for each day past 30 days, post order, that the individual stays in jail.

DHHS and the Lincoln Regional Center in particular are dedicated to accepting as many appropriate admissions as swiftly as possible and reducing the burden on county jails, this legislation and process allows for some reimbursement. 


Hospital Administrator: Mitchell Bruening, LICSW
Phone: (402) 479-5410
Fax: (402) 479-5591

​Medical Officer: Dr. Roger Donovick    
Phone: (402) 479-5411
FAX: (402) 479-5175

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 94949
Lincoln, NE 68509-4949

Norfolk Regional Center

The Norfolk Regional Center (NRC) was created by an act of the Nebraska Legislature in 1885. The NRC is a 120-bed Sex Offender Treatment Center providing Phase I services in the Nebraska Sex Offender Treatment Program. The Nebraska Sex Offender Treatment Program is a three phase treatment program meant to reduce dangerousness and risk of re-offense for patients involved in treatment. 

Phase I treatment:

  • ​Orients patients to the treatment process; 
  • Begins working with patients to accept full responsibility for their sex offending and sexually deviant behaviors; 
  • Teaches patients to give and receive feedback and utilize coping skills; and 
  • Builds motivation for the intensive treatment in Phases II and III which are provided at Lincoln Regional Center.


  • Inpatient Mental Health
  • Sex Offender Services



Regional Hospital Administrator: Jess Russell
Phone: (402) 479-5398​​

Facility Operating Officer: Don Whitmire
Phone: (402) 370-3240

​Director of Nursing: Dianna Mastny
Phone: (402) 370-3272

Location: One half mile northeast of Victory Road and Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk, Nebraska

Mailing Address: 
1700 N. Victory Road
P.O. Box 1209
Norfolk, NE  68702-1209

Main Phone: (402) 370-3400
Admissions: (402) 370-3227
Health Information Management: (402) 370-3220
FAX: (402) 370-3551​