Emergency Mental Health Services

A panel of speakers spoke about emergency mental health services currently available in the Omaha Metro area and new ones being planned.

Some resources shared:

Nebraska Medicine Director of Behavioral Health: Dr. David Cates

UNMC will be opening a Psychiatric Emergency Service next July. They are currently treating 3,000  psychiatric crisis patients a year, but a regular emergency room is not ideal for someone in psychiatric crisis where staff may not be trained for that and wait times for specific psychiatric care can take up to 24 hours. They are currently only discharging 47% of psych patients, but would like to be closer to discharge at least 2/3 of psych patients

Lasting Hope

Lasting Hope is CHI’s psych ER open 24/7 open to all ages. They also have 64 adult inpatient care beds, including 12 special care beds. There is always a trained mental health professional on duty in the ER.

Omaha Police Department Mental Health Coordinator: Lindsay Kroll LIMHP

Omaha Police Department just established a mental health unit. They are still collecting data about the mental health calls they receive and respond to. Currently, there are three therapists who acts as a co-responders who self dispatch on mental health calls to arrive with law enforcement. Therapists are trained to act differently than regular law enforcement, and can often diffuse a crisis without acting with force. The program is working well, but they only have 3 co-responders that only work regular business hours. Another program the police department has in an opt-in training for officers to become Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) to better respond to metal health crises. This program is growing and offered to officers from across the state. They are also working to develop mental health first aid training for officers.

Director of Criminal Justice Behavioral Health initiatives at Region 6: Vicki Maca

Vicki works with the Stepping Up program for people who ended up in prison due to mental health emergencies. When the Mental Health system is not able to respond, many people end up in jail, and putting sick people in jail is not a good solution. The Stepping Up Initiative gives counties resources and support to reduce the mentally ill people in jail by bringing stakeholders together and collecting data about jail residents and their current care.  Then, the stakeholders develop a local plan to meet the following goals:

  1. Reduce the amount of people with mental illness in jails
  2. Reduce the stay of mentally ill people in jail
  3. Increase connections to community before release to provide a continuum of care and support
  4. reduce recidivism

Learn more about Region 6’s Stepping Up Initiative here

Housing Coalition

OTOC Housing team members, Restoring Dignity representatives, and Together Omaha advocates spoke to a crowd of 45 people on Thursday, November 14. Erin Feichtinger of Together gave an update about the new ordinance set to roll out in January 2020. We heard a story from a refugee community leader Paw Bwe Too about her family’s experience as a tenants in substandard housing and in other families she knows and works with. Hannah Wyble explained Restoring Dignity’s cleaning trainings they do with families at apartment complexes (learn more about the program here). We also heard from Dennis Walsh about the state of affordable housing in Omaha. See his presentation Here. Karen McElroy explained how we can continue acting for safer and more affordable housing in Omaha, specifically making it an election issue at the state legislature and Municipal elections in the next few year, as other comparable Midwest cities have done.

Meetings to Learn More!

Housing Coalition Meeting

Dec. 3 at 4 pm

Augustana Lutheran Church, 3647 Lafayette


Gentrification, Affordable Housing, and Race

Panel on Nov. 21 at 6:30 pm

Augustana Lutheran Church, 3647 Lafayette Ave.

Hosted by Policy Research Innovation

Learn more and RSVP at www.facebook.com/events/547479949406416/


Meet with an OTOC Housing leader

to learn more about how to get involved

email [email protected]


Get involved in the Community!

 Omaha Housing Authority Board Meeting

Dec. 5, 8:30 am (recurring every first Thursday)

OHA office, 1823 Harney


Property Maintenance Appeals Board Meeting

Dec. 5, 1:30 pm (recurring every first Thursday)

Civic Center, 3rd Floor Jesse Lowe Conference Room, 1819 Farnam


Omaha Municipal Land Bank Board meeting

Dec. 11, 9 am (recurring every second Wednesday)

Civic Center, 3rd Floor Jesse Lowe Conference Room, 1819 Farnam


Volunteer with Restoring Dignity

Visit https://rdomaha.com/how-you-can-help/ to learn more

Take Action!

Call the Mayor’s hotline and your council person and encourage them to

1) not settle with MOPOA

2) change the 2015 consent decree

Learn more here


Mayor’s Hotline


[email protected]


[email protected]



[email protected]



[email protected]



[email protected]



[email protected]



[email protected]



[email protected]


Immigration and Climate Change

November 19, 2019

Join Nebraska Appleseed and Omaha Together One Community to hear from Dr. Richard Miller of Creighton University and Schuyler Geery-Zink of Nebraska Appleseed to explore the intersection of immigration and climate change.

Payday Lending Ballot Initiative

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Leaders from OTOC and Nebraska Appleseed will explain the campaign to cap fees on payday loans at 36% APR (down from 404%) through a Nov. 2020 ballot initiative and how you and your institution can support the campaign.