Pathways to Recovery
Being diagnosed with a mental illness is not a death sentence. In fact it can be just the opposite. It can be the first step in what someone needs to live a better, more complete life.
On Pathways to Recovery, discuss resources and provide other information to help those dealing with mental illness or recovering from trauma. The host and panelists on the program include:
Scot L. Adams is the Director of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health. As division director he is responsible for the state’s public behavioral health system, which consists of six regional behavioral health authorities. The regions provide inpatient, outpatient and emergency services, and community mental health, substance abuse and problem gambling services. The Division of Behavioral Health includes the three regional centers in Lincoln, Norfolk and Hastings, which are state psychiatric hospitals. Dr. Adams has been a social worker for 35 years
Candy Kennedy-Goergen is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Her personal mission of ensuring that family voice and choice remains paramount in Nebraska, has allowed her the opportunity to advocate for families of young people experiencing behavioral health challenges at various system levels in Nebraska.
The journeyed path which led Candy to the last seven years of involvement with the Nebraska Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, was her own personal journey that she walked as a Mom raising a child with mental health challenges. Candy has played an integral role in connecting national Family Peer Support initiatives into the implementation and development of a Nebraska-specific model through use of evidence-based practices and research. As a statewide leader in Advocacy, Candy’s involvement in numerous statewide committees is essential for lasting change. Candy is the wife of Dan Goergen and proud mother of her two children, Zackery and Sarah. She resides in central Nebraska with ties across the grand state.
Tom Adams is the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness for Nebraska (NAMI Nebraska). Prior to coming too NAMI Tom was Director of the CHAMPS a program which developed ministries for older adults in the faith community; was Director of Staff Development at Mosaic serving adults with developmental disabilities, Director of Specialized Workshops at BoysTown and worked for the State of Nebraska as a Medical Social Worker.
Throughout all of these positions there is a concern and need for mental health as it is presented for each particular group whether seniors, adults with developmental disabilities or youth. As we look at needs in Nebraska NAMI has a focus on three areas: Advocacy, Support and Education. Filling gaps in care is an effort that we address by advocating for those who are vulnerable, offering support groups for a community connection and by providing educational opportunities to increase understanding of mental health challenges for individuals living with mental illness and those who care for them.
Carol Coussons de Reyes is a certified peer specialist and holds a master’s degree in psychology. She is a wife, mother, artist, author, trauma survivor, and consumer with expertise in designing peer-run programs, peer support, creating wellness resources, and research. Carol is currently the Administrator of the Office of Consumer Affairs in Nebraska’s Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services, and the former Director of Consumer Relations and Recovery for Georgia.