Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Patrick Johannson MD, MPH

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Lyden MS

Third Committee Member

Sonja F. Tutsch MPH

Fourth Committee Member

Joe Blankenau Ph.D



Rural Nebraska communities are influenced by socioeconomic conditions and lack health care resources which contributes to the prevalence of mental health. As such, there is a need to implement effective intervention programs and evaluate current programs to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with mental health.

Goals: To assess the perceptions of mental health practitioners regarding public health programs and support services. This project also intends to gauge the effectiveness and viability of specific programs as potential solutions for increasing access and use of rural mental health care services. Furthermore, this project aims to inquire perceptions about the role of public health and primary care in the context of behavioral health.

Methods: Specific program types were identified from the results collected by Johansson et al. (2017). Practitioner perceptions regarding these specific behavioral services and support programs were assessed utilizing a survey instrument that collected both quantitative and qualitative data.

Impact: This Service Learning and Capstone Experience project will contribute to the current data regarding the present state of mental health care in rural Nebraska. This project examines the feasibility of public health programs – community and school-based programs – and public education regarding mental health awareness and access to services to help inform community programming decisions and policy recommendations. Also, this project further explores integrating public health, primary care, and behavioral health to meet the objective of the 2017-2021 Nebraska State Health Improvement Plan.

Included in

Public Health Commons