Nebraska Senator Introduces Bill to Establish Mental Health Task Force

Nebraska State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks, of Lincoln, introduced a bill last week to establish a "Mental Health Task Force."

The proposed law mandates the development of a plan to "integrate and utilize" the 988 mental health crisis hotline as called for in the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act.

It requires that a mental or behavioral health professional be integrated into local hotlines to answer the phone for any given mental health crisis at any given time. The Task Force is required to develop a plan to staff crisis hotlines and collaborate with local mental health professionals.

After appointing all needed staff, the task force is expected to file a report with the Legislature's Clerk and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, along with drafts of any legislation to carry any recommendations by December 17th of this year.

The appointees will work with Behavior or Mental Health clinicians, service providers, advocacy groups, educational institutions, and law enforcement from each county government of Nebraska's Congressional districts and representatives from each county.

The Task Force is supposed to accomplish this by the end of 2022. The bill is still in committee.

You can read the bill here.

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