Nebraska Faces Scrutiny for Segregation of People with Serious Mental Illness

Nebraska Faces Scrutiny for Segregation of People with Serious Mental Illness

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has identified a concerning practice in Nebraska. Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) are being placed in isolated settings like assisted living facilities, rather than receiving vital support within their communities.

This approach violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Olmstead Supreme Court ruling, which guarantees integrated settings for people with disabilities.

“People with SMI have the right to flourish within their communities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke.

“Nebraska’s current system isolates them, limiting their chances for independence and employment.”

The DOJ highlights Nebraska’s existing programs, such as “supported employment,” that could empower individuals with SMI to find jobs and live independently.

However, limited access and insufficient resources hinder these programs from reaching those who need them most.

The DOJ report recommends Nebraska expand access to existing community-based services.

This would allow individuals with SMI to receive the necessary support to lead fulfilling lives within their communities, fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment.

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