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The Southern Behavioral Health Region

The Southern Behavioral Health Region consists of Esmerelda, Lincoln, Mineral, and Northern Nye Counties.

The Southern Regional Behavioral Health Policy Board will resume operations in June 2023.


Members serving on the Southern Regional Behavioral Health Policy Board are community leaders, law enforcement, healthcare and treatment providers, family and peer advocates, and more. They bring diverse perspectives to the Board and are passionate about collaborating to improve the behavioral health system in the Southern Region. The board is in the process of resuming operations in June of 2023. The SRBHPB will also resume collaboration with regional stakeholders as well as county behavioral health taskforces to develop a shared understanding of the behavioral health issues facing the region. This will allow the Southern Board to establish substantial progress on shared goals by working with local, regional, and state partners to identify and align priorities and solutions whenever possible. Through ongoing discussion and work, the SRBHPB members, shown below, will review and evaluate the strengths and highlights as well as the needs (gaps and barriers) to renew work to establish priorities and recommendations for the coming year.

Board Members

  • Chair: Franklin Katschke, Lincoln County Public Defender
  • Vice Chair: Kevin A. Osten-Garner, PsyD, Executive Director and Chief Psychologist, Adler Community Health Services
  • Boonn Hem, Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist, Substance Misuse Specialist, Nye Communities Coalition
  • Assemblyman Gregory Hafen II, Legislator/ District 36
  • Missie Rowe, CEO/Administrator, Grover C. Dils Medical Center
  • Stacy Smith, Executive Director, Nye Communities Coalition
  • Scott Lewis, Chief, Pahrump Valley Fire & Rescue
  • Sarah Dillard, Rural Program Director, Community Chest Inc.
  • Whitney Koch Owens, PsyD, Owner, The Evidence Based Practice of Nevada, PLLC
  • Coleen Lawrence, MSSL, EJD, Project Director CCBHC, Thrive, CPLC Nevada, Inc.
  • Brenda O’Neil, Health Manager, Duckwater Shoshone Tribe



Board Priorities

The Southern Regional Behavioral Health Policy Board will resume operations in June 2023.  The following information aligns with current state and regional goals and objectives as well as information taken from the 2022 Annual Report.  The SRBHPD will begin reviewing these and/or developing other priorities when it resumes meetings. 


Three of the primary content areas the board will be working on are as follows: alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use/misuse prevention; mental health; and opioid response.

  • Review and evaluate highlights and strengths as well as opportunities and needs (including gaps and barriers) around behavioral health in the southern region.
  • Work with coalitions and taskforces to support regional behavioral health in addition to priorities across content areas.
  • Review resources and data in support of local and regional needs and priorities.
  • Community-wide engagement and collaboration with behavioral health stakeholders, partners, and systems in the areas of prevention (substance use/misuse), mental health, and opioid response (OUD).
  • Develop priority recommendations and potential strategies across the spectrum and in relation to the strengths, opportunities, and needs.
  • Support planning and development for innovative practices and grassroots empowerment models and programs leading to capacity building and system improvement across content areas in the southern region. This work could also involve policy development and potential legislation as well.



Opportunities and Needs (Gaps and Barriers)

Southern Regional Behavioral Health Needs – Gaps and Barriers

This information was taken from the 2022 Annual Report and provides a framework to improve behavioral health services and enhance quality of life within the Southern Region’s communities, focusing on identified behavioral health needs in the form of barriers and gaps. This rural region continues to face significant needs and concerns across the behavioral health continuum as noted below. This work and these needs will be reviewed and evaluated and updated in the coming months and when the board resumes operations.

Behavioral Health Continuum – Southern Region Gaps

  • Behavioral Health Workforce
  • Access to Care in All Treatment Levels
  • Access to Care for Uninsured and Underinsured Population
  • Knowledge of Statewide Community Programs and Resources
  • Transportation

Significant Regional Needs – Barriers and Gaps

There is a general lack of services for both youth and elder populations, especially awareness or knowledge of state programs across entire region. Obviously, citizens in the southern region also utilize agencies and resources in the more urban areas of Clark and Washoe as needed and when travel and transportation are available and feasible, yet the scarcity resources and providers create a need to travel out of the region to access for specialists in healthcare, more intensive behavioral health, and other resources. Transportation for accessing medical and healthcare and mental health crisis transport all create a major barrier. Individuals and families often must travel long distances to the urban areas, and this creates issues with financial concerns, time off work and school. Lack of coordinated behavioral health crisis response is a concern. Nye County does have a more developed response in this area. Training and crisis planning needs to be developed and providers trained in other counties. There is also a need for increased harm reduction and resources around opioid misuse, death, and overdose. Some county coalitions are doing Narcan training, especially Nye County. There is one harm reduction vending machine in Mineral County that sets a precedent in the state, especially for rural areas.


Priorities and Initiatives

The coordinator and the board will work together to review the 2022 Annual Report and also work with local and regional stakeholders to develop initiatives around local and regional needs and priorities. 

Strategies and Recommendations

The coordinator and the board will work together to review the 2022 Annual Report and also work with local and regional stakeholders to develop recommendations around local and regional needs and priorities. 


A Southern Regional Behavioral Health Resource Guide (2023-2024) is under development and will be published by August 2023. Resources for the Southern Region will be added as the research and updates are completed. 

Regional Resources

Community Chest:

Nye County

Nye County Communities Coalition:

Resource Directory – 2022-2024 (see Southern Region Documents and Publications)

Food Pantry List – 2023 (see Southern Region Documents and Publications)

Lincoln County

Lincoln County Coalition:

Lincoln County Resource Guide:

Mineral County

Mineral County Resources – see Southern Region Documents and Publications 

State and National Resources

Nevada 211:

Nevada Recovery Resource Hub:



Tee Peer Support Text Line:

Caring Contacts:



Click to select Behavioral Health Region

Nevada Statewide
Rural Behavioral
Health Region
Washoe Behavioral
Health Region
Northern Behavioral
Health Region
Southern Behavioral
Health Region
Clark Behavioral
Health Region

june, 2023

Publications and Reports

ResourcesMineral County – Regional ResourcesSouthern06/09/2023
ResourcesNye Communities Coalition Food Pantry ListSouthern06/09/2023
ResourcesNye Communities Coalition Resource DirectorySouthern06/09/2023
Data2022 Epidemiologic Profile: Southern Region Nevada – April 2023Southern05/16/2023
Board ReportsSouthern Regional Behavioral Health Policy Board – Annual Report 2022Southern05/16/2023
DataNevada Drug Overdose Surveillance: April 2023 – Southern RegionSouthern09/12/2022


Mark Funkhouser
Southern Regional Behavioral Health Coordinator
4600 Kietzke Lane, Suite I-209, Reno, NV 89502
775-827-4770 Ext 19
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