Second Omaha Meeting Addresses Problems and Solutions for Mental and Behavioral Health

 Professionals in the mental and behavioral health fields are in a battle to ensure students and young professionals in these fields are receiving adequate training in an ever-changing area of study and practice.  At the same time, they are attempting to destigmatize getting help for mental and behavioral issues, so that more young people and families will reach out for the help they need.  As these two issues are resolved, more young people and their families will get the appropriate care they need to thrive both mentally and behaviorally.  These ongoing endeavors, among others, brought together professionals from across the U.S. for the Second Omaha Meeting.

A group of mental and behavioral health professionals gathered in Omaha, Nebraska, for the second time as they strive to revitalize mental and behavioral health treatments in the United States.  After gathering in August 2023, the organizers realized the need for an additional meeting regarding problems and solutions in the mental and behavioral health community.  This meeting took place again in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 1 and 2 of this year. 

At this meeting, a group of healthcare business strategy experts, clinical resource design experts, and mental health providers met to discuss sustainable innovation pathways to enhance youth mental health.  From finding ways to incorporate evidence based practices in mental health to integrative training for mental health professionals, improving the mental and behavioral health of young people is an inclusive endeavor by a multitude of professionals seeking to make a difference in the mental and behavioral health industry.

What Was the Purpose of the Second Omaha Meeting?

CEO of Practice Wise, Dr. Heather Brennan had this to say:

“It is well known that we are in a youth mental health crisis, and the problems are exacerbated by a system that limits access to evidence-informed treatments, poor technology infrastructure throughout mental health treatment facilities, a burned out and poorly prepared workforce, and limited resources for families to support their children, especially in low socio-economic communities.”

With this in mind, the group explored policy-relevant considerations related to funding initiatives targeted at addressing these challenges.  Dr. Brennan further added,

“The goal is to improve the integration of evidence-based resources into the behavioral health ecology for a wide variety of youth and family-serving organizations and individuals. We are excited about being a key part of these discussions and look forward to moving short-, mid-, and long-term initiatives forward for efficient, equitable, and efficacious solutions to solve the youth mental health crisis.”

Presenters and Their Topics at the Meeting

  • Dr. Aleta Angelosante, Ph.D. gave a Problem/Solution presentation. In this presentation, she addressed the problems of lack of access to adequate mental health care, low knowledge and lack of training in evidence based practices, challenges in social work education and practices, continuing education, and continuing education challenges.  She offered solutions by way of evidence based practices in graduate school curricula, state offerings of evidence based practice trainings, and training non-traditional mental health support.
  • Dr. Angelosante is a MAP Training Professional and trains the state of New York professionals on the principles of MAP. PracticeWise is proud to be a part of what Dr. Angelosante considers one of the solutions to these issues.  PracticeWise offers Continuing Education (CE) classes to mental and behavioral health professionals.  To learn more, check out our blog, “Continuing Education for Mental Health Professionals.”
  • Dr. Leonard Bickman, Ph.D. gave two separate presentations, the first addressing problems and the second addressing solutions. Dr. Bickman presented the problem that services face significant challenges in real-world effectiveness.  He discussed the fact that usual efforts to improve effectiveness are not sufficient and that the effectiveness of treatment is limited.  He also addressed the inadequacy of foundational measurement and data infrastructures as causes of implementation problems.   In his presentation regarding solutions, he suggests that an enhanced infrastructure is vital, collaboration with the CCBHCs is the most practical way to achieve the necessary goals, and the need for facilitating nationwide coordination of diverse enhancement initiatives.
  • Dr. Mario Scalora, Ph.D. presented a Problem/Solution presentation. His presentation was focused on the issue of violence. The Problem portion of his presentation focused on the various challenges of implementing evidence based practices.  He offered a variety of solutions, including mindfulness of how EBPs are presented to the community, structured but not rigid models for diagnostics and risk assessment, and enhancing supervisory requirement for trainers.

All attendees presented problems over the course of the meeting, and some excellent solutions were proposed as those who met are determined to have a positive and impactful influence on their field of study and profession.  We were pleased that the local news chose to cover our Second Omaha Meeting which helps bring attention to these very important issues.


As we reflect back on all the problems and solutions presented at the Second Omaha Meeting, PracticeWise is proud of our commitment to connect practitioners with evidence based practices and to offer continuing education for mental health professionals.  We aim to be part of the solution in the mental and behavioral health community by continuing to take part in important conversations like those at the Omaha meetings, staying up-to-date on the latest research, and making that research available to providers. We want to help bridge the gap between healthcare, providers, and their clients getting the care they need, want, and deserve.

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