IPL is helping OTOC leaders organize Feb 27 Issues Conference

IPL is helping Leaders of Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) organize  an Issues Conference on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 Noon at First United Methodist Church.  OTOC and Community leaders will lead eight interactive workshops that will focus on issues affecting Omaha families. Each workshop will end with practical Next Steps that we can take to make progress on the issue.

There is no cost to attend, but to register for the Issues Conference, please click on the link below:

Link to OTOC registration form

The OTOC workshops include:

Session 1


OTOC leaders at the 2014 Issues Conference briefly explained their workshops to 150 people who attended

  • Death Penalty: supporting repeal of the death penalty in the November referendum
  • EPA Clean Power Plan after the Supreme Court Intervention: How to advance clean power in Nebraska while the CPP is on hold due to the Supreme Court action. Duane Havorka and OTOC leaders will lead this information discussion and generate strategies.
  • Mental Health: filling the gaps in behavioral health services in Omaha
  • ­Violence in the Community: seeking potential solutions for neighborhood safety

Session 2

  • Neighborhoods and Housing: determining property tax values, abandoned property
  • OTOC and OPPD: organizing within OPPD to assure a sustainable, smart energy future
  • Refugees and Immigrants: advocating for fair treatment of immigrants and refugees
  • Health Insurance for Working Poor: using Medicaid funds to insure workers in the coverage gap

The schedule for the Issue Conference is:

  • 8:30 am to 9:00 am               Gathering and registration, coffee, juice and light snacks
  • 9:00 am to 9:30 am                Meeting information and short training on organizing
  • 9:40 am to 10:30am               Issues Workshops Session 1
  • 10:40 am to 11:30 am           Issues Workshops Session 2
  • 11:40 am to Noon                   Report back and next steps
  • 12:00 Noon                             Adjourn and go organize

IPL helps Thrive Club at Northwest HS learn about mental health

This Fall and Winter, IPL worked with students involved in the Northwest HS Thrive Club on a service project to help educate refugee and immigrant communities about mental illness and how to find behavioral health care when you need it.small group of kids with signsThe students wrote and filmed their own informational video to help other teens learn more about mental illness. Take a look at their work at the link below:

NW High Thrive Students Video about behavioral health

IPL worked with leaders of the local chapter of National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Refugee Empowerment Center (REC) and Lutheran Family Services (LFS) to work with the 55 members of the Northwest HS Thrive Club on their 2015-16 service project. Thrive Clubs are at 5 OPS high schools and provide refugee and immigrant youth with weekly club activities where they learn leadership development skills. large group with signs

The officers at Northwest met during the Summer and decided they wanted to work with IPL and our collaborators to learn more mental illness. They met with IPL and our partners several times over the semester. The students are producing a video and some simple posters with positive mental health messages which they will post around the school.  More importantly, this group of young leaders will begin to know how they can help other members of their better understand that there is no stigma in seeking care for our minds when it is necessary.male with pic over face



Fifty refugee leaders attend workshop on Healthy Mind

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Fifty refugees from Karen, Kareni, Burmese, Nepali, Sudanese and Somali communities attended the workshop on a Healthy Mind which IPL helped organize with the Refugee Health Collaborative

IPL worked with the Refugee Health Collaborative to organize a workshop on Healthy Minds for leaders of Omaha’s refugee communities on Saturday, February 20 at Augustana Lutheran Church.

Claire Herzog  of Ready in Five and Alana Schriver of the OPS lead an informative and engaging workshop attended by fifty refugees from 6 different countries and groups.  The workshop focused on helping refugees understand what mental illness, how to maintain good mental health and how to get help for yourself or a loved one if you realize that help is needed

Six interpreters helped refugee leaders understand the basic ideas about how to maintain mental health

IPL has worked with the Refugee Health Collaborative over the last two years to develop educational programs to help refugees learn how to access preventive and primary health care in a timely manner and in an appropriate way. IPL and OTOC leaders have worked with a number of community organizations including UNMC College of Public Health, Refugee Empowerment Center, LFS, Douglas County Health Department and Embrace the Nations on this ongoing effort to improve health care for refugees in Omaha.