Panhandle Mental Health Center
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Panhandle Mental Health Center


Panhandle Mental Health CenterThe Basics

Founded in 1969, Panhandle Mental Health Center (PMHC) was the first mental health facility to open in Nebraska. The nonprofit treatment facility receives state funding to help keep its doors open and the cost down for clients. PMHC offers an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for addiction in Scottsbluff and Sidney. Treatment uses eclectic array of modalities, including the 12 steps. Dual diagnosis support is also offered, but there is no detox.

Treatment and Staff

Treatment at PMHC is unique to each individual. Clients first receive an evaluation with a LADC. From the evaluation, the counselor and client design an individualized treatment program that includes individual counseling and group therapy. Typically, clients attend individual sessions once a week, but it may be more or less depending on their needs.

IOP groups meet  from 6:30 pm to 9:30pm, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The first hour and a half is devoted to group therapy, which can include CBT, Motivational Interviewing (MI), gestalt therapy, relapse prevention and coping skills. After a break, clients resume with another hour of lectures, worksheets, videos and psychoeducation. Attendance at AA meetings is required for those participating in the IOP.

Length of treatment depends on each individual. Once the client and counselor feel a client is ready to move on from the IOP program, they step down to continued care. This program meets once a week for an hour and a half. In addition, it is recommended that clients continue to attend 12-step meetings, get a sponsor and build a network of sober friends.

For those with dual diagnosis, there are clinicians on site who can facilitate medication management. Mental health issues are discussed in groups and clients can focus on their particular diagnosis in individual therapy,

Staff members include licensed drug and alcohol counselors, a psychiatrist, psychologists, mental health therapists and social workers. The number of clients in each group varies considerably throughout the year. There are approximately five clients to every staff member and both clinics employ a total of seven staff members.


PMHC also offers family therapy for clients’ friends, families and significant others. The employee assistance program is used by employers whose staff members are struggling with mental health or addiction problems.

The facility offers bilingual groups in Spanish, drug screening services and emergency interventions.

In Summary

Panhandle Mental Health Center offers a nice balance of 12-step and other treatment options while allowing clients to continue with work and school. It’s a viable program for someone who isn’t in the acute stages of addiction needing hospitalization or detox.

Panhandle Mental Health Center
18 W 16th St
Scottsbluff, NE 69361

Panhandle Mental Health Center Cost: Sliding scale. Reach Panhandle Mental Health Center by phone at (308) 635-3171 or by email at Find Panhandle Mental Health Center on Facebook and Google+

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