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Guest lecture given at Wayne State College on rural mental health

WAYNE, Neb. (KTIV) – A guest lecture on Monday, at Wayne State College, focused on the mental health workforce in rural areas.

Dennis Mohatt, the Vice President of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Behavioral Health Program, said his focus was on improving rural mental health care.

Mohatt said that giving presentations, like the one at Wayne State, to college students is important because they are the future workforce in mental health in rural regions.

Mohatt said one main issue is the lack of ability to access mental health care in rural regions.

“Nebraska has a shortage of behavioral health providers, especially northeast Nebraska, which is where I live and where all the individuals here live. We want to address our issues for behavioral health issues to be provided to citizens of this region, this community,” said Dr. Liane Connelly, the Assistant Dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Mohatt also said another concern is that there aren’t many programs that train students to be rural mental health care providers.

And he hopes that his presentation will help inspire the students to seek that training.

“I hope that they see themselves as a part of the solution going forward. That they see that there are viable opportunities for employment. And that there is the ability to serve people in need in places that don’t have a lot of people providing those services.” said Mohatt.

Mohatt said his lecture is valuable for students studying mental healthcare, and for other disciplines as well, including criminal justice, education, and sociology.

Leslie London

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