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CHI program trains mental health nurses amid declining mental health

Posted at 6:47 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 19:47:59-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nurses are going above and beyond to provide care during the pandemic and CHI Health is helping them reach their goals with a successful program.

One of the repercussions of COVID-19 has been deteriorating mental health. The number of adults that reported feelings of anxiety and depression grew 30% from the start of the pandemic to January of this year.

"There's a shortage of prescribing providers amongst the community and mental health services are in more need than they really have ever been," the VP of Behavioral Health with CHI Robin Conyers said.

In collaboration with the Behavioral Health Support Foundation, CHI Health launched "Grow Our Own" in 2018, a two-year program that provides scholarships and financial compensation to CHI mental health nurses wanting to grow their careers and become psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Little did they know how important a program like this would be in 2020.

"I wanted to be able to help my community a little bit more," said psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Marie Ganive.

Ganive applied for the program as a nurse supervisor at CHI Immanuel. While working full time, raising two kids and being pregnant with a third, she became the program's first graduate in February. Now she'll be able to work with patients in an office and help with all of their mental health needs.

"I want to be able to invite anybody that is struggling with mental health but have the fear to come and ask for help. I want to encourage those individuals to come see me," she said.

CHI is planning on launching this program to all of their nurses, so any nurse at any location, can eventually help the community mentally heal.

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