Recognizing the growing need for timely access to mental health care, the Scoular Foundation has provided $250,000 to Boys Town to offset the administrative costs of providing increased mental health care by a licensed psychologist dedicated to the new partnership.
The psychologist will serve the children of Scoular employees as well as prioritize services to children in the north and south Omaha communities, and those enrolled in the Boys Town LIFT Together program. LIFT Together is a prevention initiative that provides adolescents living in north and south Omaha with resources to improve school success and family stability.
The Scoular donation is providing this funding to offset the skyrocketing costs of these services and the difficulty hiring mental health professionals. The donation will help attract candidates to the job.
In addition, Scoular CEO Paul Maass said Scoular is committed to expanding the concept by providing an additional $250,000 to another agency for mental health services.
The donation is intended to help address what experts are calling an unprecedented mental health crisis, driven significantly by a lack of access to trained providers. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five Nebraskans experienced a mental health challenge in any given year. Over the past two years, the number has increased to one in three.
“We have heard countless stories from community members and mental health advocates that it can take months to obtain an appointment to see a mental health care provider,” Maass said. “We want to help solve this problem by providing a more timely path to care and healing, for both our employees’ children and for children in the community.”
A shortage of mental health care providers has intensified the challenge, which the Scoular donation is addressing by its size and scope.
“The need for mental and behavioral health services has increased dramatically over the past several years and the availability of services has not kept pace,” said Dr. Patrick Friman, vice president of behavioral health at Boys Town.
“Stepping up to help
address this growing need, the Scoular Foundation has committed to partner with
Boys Town by supplying two years of innovative foundational funding for a
specially trained adolescent therapist.”