Region I, is a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, and has the statutory responsibility under Neb. Rev. Sat. 71-802-71-820 for organizing and supervising comprehensive mental health and substance abuse services in the Region I geographical area which includes the eleven counties of the Panhandle of Nebraska; Sheridan, Dawes, Sioux, Box Butte, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Banner, Cheyenne, Deuel, Garden, and Kimball. This statute was modified in 1977 to include substance abuse services (LB 204) and revised in 2004, under LB 1083 as the Nebraska Behavioral Health Services Act. This Act mandates that all persons residing in Nebraska shall have access to behavioral health services.
Region I, is one of six (6) behavioral health authorities in Nebraska, along with the state’s three (3) Regional Centers, make up the state’s public mental health and substance abuse system, also known as the Nebraska Behavioral Health System (NBHS).
Region I is governed by a Board of County Commissioners, who are elected officials, one (1) from each of the counties represented in the Region I’s geographic area. The Regional Governing Board (RGB) is under contract with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services System (DHHS), the designated authority for administration of mental health and substance abuse programs for the state. Region 1 serves approximately 88,000 people in the Nebraska Panhandle, which covers 15,000 square miles.
Each RGB appoints a Regional Administrator (RA) to be the chief executive officer responsible to the RGB. The RGB also appoints an Advisory Committee for the purpose of advising the RGB regarding the provision of coordinated and comprehensive behavioral health services within Region I’s geographical area to best meet the needs of the general public. In Region I, the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee (BHAC) is comprised of 11-20 members including consumers, concerned citizens, and representatives from other community systems in the Region.