Mental Health Reform

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The head of the state employee's union says Nebraska's mental health system is in crisis.

Don Zavodny and others spoke out against Governor Mike Johanns' reform plan that calls for closing the Hastings and Norfolk regional centers by the end of next year.

Zavodny's comments come a day after two psychologists and the clinical director in Hastings resigned. The state says there will be no new admissions there for now.

Zavodny says workers are being told how to prepare for layoffs.
He says the well-being of patients is being put at risk.

He and others say the Johanns proposals does not plan well enough for the desired transition to more community-based care.
They say the regional centers should remain open while a better plan is developed.

Norfolk Chamber of Commerce president Dan Mauk says the governor is not listening to concerns of the communities.

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