OTOC Chair Sarita Penka asks a question of Christine Johnson.

Over 40 OTOC and Community leaders met with Christine Johnson of the Behavioral Health Foundation on October 29. The lively meeting gave Christine the opportunity to report on the work of 9 Committees of behavioral health professionals who are examining how to “fill the gaps” in 9 different areas that were identified in a comprehensive report. OTOC and community leaders asked Ms. Johnson many questions and shared their stories about their experience of these gaps.

Leaders of organizations serving refugees shared stories of the many challenges that refugees face when they move to Omaha and develop mental health issues. These leaders indicated they would like to work with existing providers to develop more alternatives for people who don’t speak English to receive quality behavioral health care.

In response to the great interest by OTOC and community leaders, Ms. Johnson indicated she would like to create two more teams: Family Voices and Policy. The Family Voices team would let leaders from OTOC, NAMI and others to share their own experiences and be part of identifying solutions. The Policy team would allow OTOC and NAMI and others to offer their ideas about ways to improve care and react to strategies proposed by the other teams.

OTOC leader and member of the Board of Mental Health, Mike McClellan shares the challenges that he faces helping people with chronic conditions

For a copy of the Executive Summary, the full  Adult Behavioral Health Assessment for the Omaha region, or OTOC’s survey about your experience with the gaps,  click on the following links:

Executive Summary of Region 6 Assesment Report

Omaha-Region 6 System Assessment Report – FINAL – TriWest Group (2015_01_16)

Revised Survey for Gap Stories

OTOC is Urban Abbey’s Partner in October. Ten percent of all you purchase at the coffee bar and 50% of the coffee beans you purchase will be contributed  by UA to OTOC….come to Urban Abbey at 10th and Jackson for these engaging discussions:


Thurs. Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m.– Issue Café on the Mental Health System in Nebraska

Meet with leaders of OTOC Mental Health Action Team and guest speaker Christine Johnson at Urban Abbey (10th & Jackson) . Ms. Johnson works for the Behavioral Health Foundation and is organizing work groups to address 9 gaps in behavioral health care that were found to exist in a January, 2015 “Assessment of Adult Behavioral Health Care in the Omaha region”


Wed. Oct. 21 at 7:00 p.m.– Issue Café on  Medicaid Reform

Twenty two OTOC leaders joined  Mark Intermill , Executive Director A.A.R.P. Nebraska and at Urban Abbey (10th & Jackson) on October 21  to discuss the challenges and the strategies to finally achieve Medicaid reform in Nebraska and allow more working families to purchase health insurance to cover their families. Marks excellent and informative presentation is available upon request. Write us at [email protected] for a copy.