Finding the right behavioral health resources can be a challenge. In February, Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center started a free service to help adults in eastern Nebraska with mental health or substance use disorders make those connections.

Called Behavioral Health Connection, the service is staffed by specialists who can help people identify, get into and find transportation to programs and agencies to meet their behavioral health and other social service needs.

David Cates, behavioral health director for Nebraska Medicine, said the service had taken 279 calls representing 241 clients as of late June.

The specialists who staff the service Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. are familiar with the services available in the community. Not only can they help connect people with relevant behavioral health and social services, they can help them access prior medical records, identify prescription assistance programs and find transportation assistance. The service is funded by donors Jay and Nancy Noddle.

Dr. Howard Liu, chairman of UNMC's psychiatry department, said having the service available allows behavioral health providers, who are limited in number, to spend time on providing care.

Staff member Yevette Henderson said the service receives a lot of calls from people who are leaving treatment centers and need to know what's next.

To use the service, call 402-836-9292 or visit https://www.nebraskamed. com/behavioral-health/connection.

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