Mental Health First Aid Training Bill Could Soon Come to Nebraska

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One in four Nebraskans suffers from mental health issues. Now in the legislature a bill is aimed at helping them.

Senator Kate Bolz's bill would give $100,000 dollars to mental health first aid training through DHHS around the state.

She wants to give Nebraskans access to training; How to identify mental health issues, how to handle crisis moments and how to go get help for your loved one, friend or co-worker.

She hopes to help reduce the number of suicides.

This issue is critically important especially for veterans and young Nebraskans. According to The Kids Count Report, one in 10 young people in Nebraska had a suicide plan in the last year. She wants those groups of people to get the help they need, and her bill is pushing for that.

"Too often young people have emotions or struggles with mental illness that they don't know how to respond to or deal with. And the adults and the peers in their lives might be able to identify something's wrong, but might not know what to do next, and this is an answer to that question," said Senator Bolz.

Senator Bolz says, while the training would be available to any groups that want it, it wouldn't be mandatory.

Also in the same hearing Thursday, another bill to help out with Nebraska's mental health response. Senator Amanda McGill is pushing a separate bill that she hopes would help attract more mental health professionals to all parts of the state through internships at UNL.