Here at Voices for Children, we’ve been talking a lot about what an ideal behavioral health system would look like. And in a way, it’s pretty simple: get kids the right services they need when they need them. But even simple solutions often have complex issues.
One of the major obstacles to achieving an ideal system in Nebraska is the lack of access to preventative and “front end” services, specifically for kids under five years old. Research shows that infants and young children do have mental health needs, which when left untreated often influence long-term developmental problems. Frequently, adolescents receiving mental health services had obvious behavioral and emotional problems at preschool age, but were left untreated until years later.
LB 1063 shows Nebraska’s willingness to invest in early child interventions in order to address problems when they are easiest to solve. This is a critically important bill that will protect children and families by ensuring no child is denied services who needs them. Passing LB 1063 will be an important step towards an ideal behavioral health system for all of Nebraska’s kids.