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Panhandle Health Group, formerly Panhandle Mental Health Center, an outpatient behavioral health and family practice center will close on or before June 30.

Dawes County Commissioner Vic Rivera reported the closure to the rest of the commissioners last week.

“There were a lot of people who were not very happy,” Rivera said of the decision. However, the organization is not in a financial position to continue. Reports show that the group has taken a $1.5 million loss in the last eight to nine years, Rivera said.

The Governing Board, along with Region 1 Behavioral Health Authority is working closely with local and regional providers with the goal to develop effective and sustainable services for the consumers currently being served by Panhandle Health Group. A transition team was created with a diverse group of professionals committed to the best outcomes for Panhandle Health Group’s consumers The goal of this team is to create an effective, sustainable long-term plan for consumers being served by Panhandle Health Group. Patients and families will have a special hotline available so their individual questions can be addressed.

Panhandle Health Group management and governing board cares deeply about the consumers served over the last 50 years, as well as, the providers and staff We want to thank the members of the community who supported our efforts over these last 50 years, whether it was by serving on a board or committee, attending a public meeting or simply trusting us with your healthcare needs.

Through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Division of Behavioral Health, Title 206 Behavioral Health Services Region 1 BHA is directed to establish a public competitive contracting process to ensure a public open and fair contracting process for behavioral health service provision. It is a priority of Region 1 BHA to ensure interested parties provide trauma informed and recovery oriented services that address and relate to client’s specific behavioral health needs. Currently, Region 1 Behavioral Health Authority (Region 1 BHA) released Request for Qualifications (RFQ) February 19, 2018 soliciting qualifications from eligible providers in the 11 counties in the Panhandle of Nebraska for the following services and locations:

Alliance Service Area: Mental Health Outpatient (youth & adult) to include individual, group & family therapy, and Medication Management (youth & adult)

Scottsbluff Service Area: Mental Health Outpatient (youth & adult) to include individual, group & family therapy, Substance Use Outpatient (youth & adult) to include individual, group & family therapy, Medication Management (youth &adult), Substance Use Intensive Outpatient, 24 Hour Crisis Line Mental Health, Substance Use Assessment

Sidney Service Area: Mental Health Outpatient (youth & adult) to include individual, group & family therapy, Substance Use Outpatient (youth & adult) to include individual, group & family therapy, Substance Use Intensive Outpatient, Substance Use Assessment, and Medication Management (youth & adult)

Kimball Service Area: Mental Health Outpatient (youth & adult) to include individual, group & family therapy, and Medication Management (youth & adult)

Each RFQ application will be recorded and evaluated according to the published criteria in the request. However, Requests for Applications (RFA) are not open for public inspection during the evaluation process.

RFQ applications are due back to Region 1 BHA by noon March 9. The next step is to review the qualifications of applicants and to inform them of their acceptance/denial on or before March 28, 2018. This moves the process into phase two; Requests for Proposals.

Region 1 BHA will provide updates to the public after that time.

If you are needing assistance locating mental health and substance use services, please call the Region 1 Behavioral Health office at 1-833-889-4037 or visit our website at https://region1bhs.net and then select the service access portal option in the upper right hand corner of the home page.

Other resources include;

• Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

• Nebraska Family Helpline 1-888-866-8660.

• 24 hour Mental Health Crisis Line 1-877-492-7001

• 24 hour Substance Abuse Line 1-308-762-7177

• 24 hour Crisis Text Line ; text REG 1 to 741-741

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