Mental Health

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The Nebraska Chapter of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill says Governor Mike Johanns' proposed reform of the state's mental health system is right on.

Johanns' plan is to close two to three regional mental health centers and move services to community-based programs. Alliance Executive Director Colleen Wuebben called the plan a, quote, "roadmap to fix a broken health system."

Johanns and Senator Jim Jensen of Omaha propose closing regional centers in Hastings and Norfolk and keeping one in Lincoln open.

The Nebraska Alliance of the Mentally Ill represents clients, families and friends of people with severe mental illness.

Johanns says the alliance makes a strong statement in favor of community-based programs.

Officials in Hastings and Norfolk oppose the plan, in part because they say there are not enough community-based programs to support the needs of the mentally ill.

Wuebben says she is confident the plan will make sure those services are available.