Alternate aerial view of UNMC campus (copy) (copy) (copy)

The campus of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medical Center.

Mental health needs in the Omaha area exceed current resources to address them, and it’s imperative to strengthen the nonprofit organizations that provide those services. Nebraska Medicine’s plans to create a psychiatric emergency center on its Omaha campus will give a major boost to the effort. This can have a broader benefit by potentially helping reduce the number of people with mental health challenges from entering the criminal justice system. A large percentage of offenders in the Douglas and Sarpy Countiy Jails are burdened by mental health problems. Sarpy officials have shown foresight in focusing on mental health issues, and the more that local mental health agencies collaborate with Sarpy, the better. The best approach is a coordinated regional effort.

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