Programs & Services


The Mental Health Association of Nebraska presents through its Diversion Services the REAL Referral Program. The referral program is funded through grants from the Community Health Endowment and Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. We work closely with law enforcement officials, community corrections officers and other local human service providers to offer diversion from higher levels of care and to provide a recovery model form of community support with the help of trained Peer Specialists.

When a referral is made to the program, Peer Specialists then begin the process of contacting the person whom the referral was made. Once contact is made the individual is asked if they would like to participate in the program. If it is decided to participate, peers work to find out through engagement driven by empowerment, validation, and personal responsibility, the person’s wants and needs. The information gathered is used to discover what services would be most effective. If needed the individual will receive help in accessing programs or services they want to receive. (examples: housing issues, personal relationships, etc.) On going contact is made with the individual to help ensure their concerns and needs were met.

The first referral for the program was received in September 2011. During the program’s four years in operation over 1100 referrals have been made by over 275 separate officers. Current program data shows evidence of its effectiveness in outreach, community support, and improved quality of life for those people facing difficulty with mental health concerns.

During the spring of 2015 the Mental Health Association of Nebraska and the REAL Referral Program began to collaborate with the state of Nebraska’s Corrections Systems to offer the same types of supports to individuals whom have recently been freed from incarceration at one of the state’s facilities. Follow-up contact is made with program participants to help them successfully transition back into the community.

The program is only possible through strong partnership with a progressive police force, an evolving correction systems and funding from the Community Health Endowment and the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services concerned with finding new more effective ways of serving those in need.

For more info contact:  Chad Magdanz




As of September 2016
1580 total referrals
303 LPD officers have utilized REAL
917 referrals contacted  (58%)
Of those contacted 597 have accepted services. (roughly 65%)

As of September 2017:

Currently we are at 1940 referrals. In the last month we have not been able to locate only

four out of 43 referrals to the REAL Program. We are at about 85% accepted services in the

last month from the people we have spoken with.

We continue to facilitate WRAP all day on Tuesdays at York and Thursdays at Tecumseh.

Chad Magdanz did one in service training with the new LPD recruits.

REAL has been gearing up for the NACM conference and will be facilitating three groups during that conference.

We have recently been invited to speak with Kim Etherton about working directly with the adult court system later this month. 


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    Region V Systems
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