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Nebraska lawmakers seek ways to boost mental health services

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska lawmakers are looking for ways to increase mental health services in areas that lack psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors, but that could prove difficult amid a tight state budget.

Sen. John Stinner of Gering says he plans to convene different groups at hearing on Sept. 8 to see how the state might pay for such an incentive.

Stinner says the solution may lie in a state-funded internship program to attract more behavioral and mental health students who are working toward advanced degrees.

Lawmakers this year delay spending on some state expenses and cut funding available for services aimed at people with developmental disabilities. Stinner says new funding may have to wait until state tax collections recover.

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