Introducing Careers in Behavioral Health
BHECN’s mission is to improve access to behavioral health care across the state, and through our workforce pipeline Ambassador Program, our goal has been to introduce students at the high school and undergraduate levels to careers in behavioral health.

BHECN has created a new brochure, “Pathways to a Career in Behavioral Health” featuring eight licensed behavioral health careers and the academic pathways to get there.

We are in the process of distributing nearly 10,000 of these brochures to academic and career counselors at the high school and undergraduate levels, in addition to behavioral health special interest groups and programs across the state.

If you would like a supply of these brochures to use for your own programs, please contact Krista Roberts, BHECN’s communications coordinator.

You may also visit our website at to download the brochure, view career testimonial videos and find more behavioral health career resources.

We’d like to thank our many partners who assisted in gathering the data to create these brochures. Thank you for your ongoing support and collaboration to improve access to behavioral health care across the state of Nebraska.

Howard Liu, M.D.
BHECN Director

Careers featured:
  • Psychiatrist
  • Physician assistant
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner
  • Licensed psychologist
  • Professional mental health counselor
  • Marriage & family therapist
  • Clinical social worker
  • Substance use disorder counselor
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Summit Addresses Growing Opioid Concerns
More than 180 professionals attended a Nebraska Summit on “Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Substance Use Disorders” held in Omaha this month. The summit addressed the role of medication-assisted treatment as a tool for recovery. 

BHECN Plays Large Role in System of Care

As one of many partners in the Nebraska System of Care (NeSOC), BHECN is collaborating with national experts in the behavioral health workforce to provide training resources for providers in meeting the needs of children and families utilizing the system.

Ambassador Spotlight
Meet Alexandria Bechtle
After being forced to give up her true love, soccer, Alexandria was faced with a difficult time in her life. Inspired by friends and health professionals, she found a new path and a new interest in becoming a counselor.

Now she is working on her master’s in counseling at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and currently completing a HRSA grant-funded internship at Encompass Care in Lincoln. “Every day I have the opportunity to work with individuals and their families with a goal to improve their quality of life,” she said.

Grant Places Counselors-in-Training in Rural Settings
Under Dr. Tina Chasek’s guidance, the University of Nebraska Kearney, Counseling and School Psychology program (UNK-CSP) and AmeriCorps Nebraska recently received a grant to place graduate level counselors-in-training into rural Nebraska healthcare settings to provide services. The goal of the UNK-CSP Rural NE Behavioral Health Services Program is to increase access to behavioral health services and expand the workforce in rural Nebraska.
At the end of the of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for assisting and providing 2,500 behavioral health and substance use screening, assessment, and treatment sessions for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families increasing access to care where it is needed most - rural Nebraska.

Host sites include: UNK Student Health and Counseling; Richard Young Hospital; Regional West Medical Center Behavioral Health Unit; Mid-Plains Center for Behavioral Health Services, Inc. and more continue to be added as members are recruited from communities across the state. 
For more information, contact Dr. Chasek at
Upcoming Events & Training:
Second Annual Psychiatric Nursing Workforce Summit
Strengthening the Psychiatric Mental Health Workforce: Practice, Education and Policy Considerations - Nov. 1
  • Attendees will hear from keynote speaker Dr. Gail Stuart, Dean and tenured Distinguished University Professor in the College of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina.

When: Wed., November 1
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

UNO Scott Conference Center
6450 Pine St., Omaha NE 68106

Virtual Conference to Feature Nebraska’s Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care Model
Lessons from the Field: Innovations in Behavioral Health Workforce Education, Training, and Development

BHECN’s Clinical Director,  Joe Evans, Ph.D. , and  Holly Roberts, Ph.D. , Munroe Meyer Institute (MMI) were selected from over 250 grantee applicants to present Nebraska's Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care program model.

When: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (CDT)

Where: Online-only conference

Cost: Free

Who should attend? Practitioners, students, or trainees interested in behavioral health workforce education  makes it easy to post and find job openings for a variety of behavioral health careers in Nebraska. Here are some of our most recent job postings:

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse – State of Nebraska, Division of Behavioral Health (Norfolk, NE)

Licensed Mental Health Practitioner – Midwest Country Clinic (Bassett, NE)

Outpatient Clinical Program Directo r – CenterPointe (Lincoln, NE)

It's totally free to search for jobs, and free for employers to post new job openings! For more behavioral health jobs info, subscribe to  The Connection newsletter.
BHECN Updates
BHECN Welcomes New Executive Committee Members,
Liane Connelly, Ph.D., and Catherine Todero, Ph.D.

As associate professor and assistant dean for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing - Northern Division, Dr. Connelly said she is interested in having a positive impact on the number of persons prepared to serve Nebraska in behavioral health, in particular the rural areas. 

“I am most interested in workforce numbers of persons who are able to serve the needs of the population in rural areas, so that access to care is improved,” Dr. Connelly commented.

Dr. Todero , dean and professor of nursing at Creighton University College of Nursing is also interested in working with colleagues from across the state to address behavioral health issues and educational needs in Nebraska.

“The need for care providers in the mental health arena is particularly acute and the problem is nationwide,” she said. “Creighton CON is committed to helping address the need for behavioral health providers using an interprofessional approach and team based care.”

Congratulations to Dr. Tina Chasek

Congratulations to BHECN Kearney Director, Dr. Christine L. Chasek LIMHP, LADC, LPC, on her promotion to associate professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

BHECN's Mission
The Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN), pronounced “beacon”, was established in 2009 by a legislative bill to address the shortage of behavioral health professionals in rural and underserved areas of the state. It is a unique partnership among the state legislature, academic institutions, and community partners
to create a statewide workforce solution to increase the number of licensed behavioral health professionals.

View our video to learn more about our mission, programs and initiatives.
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