The University of Nebraska Medical Center is receiving a $1.2 million grant to increase the number of psychiatric nurse practitioners statewide.
The medical center says the controversy surrounding Nebraska's safe-haven laws revealed only part of the enormous need for mental-health services. Most of those affected were parents or children with mental illnesses.
Though there are nearly 1.8 million residents in Nebraska, there are only 211 psychiatrists, 46 psychiatric nurse practitioners and nine psychiatric physician assistants. About 68 percent practice in the Omaha and Lincoln areas.
The three-year grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will increase by 43 the number of psychiatric nurse practitioners in the state.