OMAHA, Neb. – Heartland Family Service (HFS) is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a $355,100 one-year grant from United Way of the Midlands. Thanks to the generosity of the United Way Community Investment Grant, individuals and families in the HFS Professional Counseling – Behavioral Health programs, which includes our Mental Health Counseling and Substance Use Disorder Treatment programs, will be able to overcome new and existing trauma, establish overall well-being, and achieve self-sufficiency.

The Professional Counseling – Behavioral Health programs serve clients in Nebraska and Iowa. These programs are designed to improve the psychological, emotional, and social functioning of individuals, children, and families through an integrated and comprehensive system of professional therapeutic services, as well as give them the skills and knowledge necessary to overcome addiction. With the help of this grant, the Professional Counseling – Behavioral Health programs aim to assist clients in abstaining from substance use, to establish healthy living environments, and to achieve behavioral, emotional, and/or attitudinal changes to improve their overall well-being.

In 2019, the Professional Counseling – Behavioral Health programs served a total of 4,886 clients. On average, 56% of clients in the Mental Health Counseling component of this program improved their level of functioning during the span of treatment. An average of 66% clients receiving Substance Use  Disorder Treatment improved their level of functioning during the span of treatment.

Two years ago, a young mother with three children voluntarily came to the HFS Professional Counseling – Behavioral Health program for professional counseling. Upon her arrival, she exhibited significant trauma symptoms and signs of substance use. When her counseling sessions began, her therapist noticed she dealt with anxiety, depression, and hypervigilance due to experiencing severe domestic violence. She eventually stopped coming to treatment but returned about a year later when she lost custody of her children. She began seeing the same therapist she had previously worked with, and her therapist worked with her through a variety of evidence-based therapies to overcome some of her mental health concerns.

After months of hard work, the mother reported she is no longer experiencing trauma symptoms, and she has regained custody of two of her three children. She maintains a safe home for herself and her children, has retained steady employment, and is actively involved with her children’s education, as well as supporting their extracurricular interests.

About United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area for more than 95 years. Guided by best practices and community input, it approaches poverty in a specific way – a “united” way. With the support of volunteers, community partners, and donors, UWM invests donor dollars efficiently and effectively in our local community. These dollars fund basic needs, education, and financial stability programs at local nonprofits, creating a circle of support for people in need. Please visit unitedwaymidlands.org for more information.

About Heartland Family Service

Since 1875, Heartland Family Service has responded to the needs of our area’s most vulnerable children and families. In 2019, our agency connected with over 60,000 individuals through direct services, education, and outreach. Our programs serve individuals of all ages — from infants in our Family Works program to seniors in our Generations Community Center. We operate from over 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. We provide critical human services to the individuals and families who ultimately shape the future of our community through the following program areas: Child & Family Well-Being, Counseling & Prevention, and Housing, Safety, & Financial Stability.