Want To Volunteer at The Keya House?

Please complete an Volunteer Application.

Click here to download volunteer information and application or (pdf version)

Please return full complete forms to

Mental Health Association of Nebraska
1645 N Street
Lincoln, NE 68508


(Call First 402-261-5959)
Keya House
2817 S. 14th Street
Lincoln, NE. 68502

or Email to awilksen@mha-ne.org

About Keya
The word “Keya” means “turtle” in Lakota, a Native American language. Keya is believed to be a symbol of good health and long life. Keya demonstrates the ability to adapt to changes and new surroundings by living in and out of water—a trait symbolizing the power of individuals to adapt to healthier activities and a new lifestyle.

Keya is also accepting and uncomplaining, and it moves with a slow and steady pace forward— another trait symbolizing an individual’s realization that health improvements don’t happen quickly and it takes a steady pace of growth and change in order to recover and attain a state of wellness.

Who Qualifies?

Keya House is for adults with mental health and substance abuse issues who live in the Region V Systems service area. You must have transportation to and from the house.

So this is how I see this place ... Every moment I spend here is a moment I learn ... not just about myself but about all of my brothers and sisters. I have always had a deep seeded desire to walk alongside them not just on a healing path but on a path of joy and pain. I have learned some great truths about myself through times of great crisis. I have learned to appreciate the opposite of wellness for the sake of wellness. My greatest Keya House memory is right now as I sit quietly listening to the clock tic knowing that my heart is so completely and undeniably OPEN ... <3
Former Keya Guest


What We Offer

A comfortable, clean, and furnished four-bedroom house in a quiet and safe neighborhood. Self help and proactive recovery tools to regain and maintain wellness. Each guest gets their own private bedroom. It is staffed with Trained peer specialists who are compassionate, understanding, and empowering.

Why Peers?

Peers have all experienced what it is like to be on the verge of crisis, if not surrounded by it. We  understand the need for support in these difficult times, which is why we offer strength, hope, and knowledge about recovery to those individuals who need a supportive and healing environment.

How It’s Done

This program is strictly voluntary and free of charge. You can self- refer or be referred by a health professional or a family member. There is a registration process to ensure the appropriateness of the program for each individual. Anyone wanting to visit or stay at the Keya House must call the house before visiting the house.

  • We offer a free stay of up to five days.
  • We offer an option to stay as day guest if you do not want to stay overnight.
  • We offer a warmline free of charge to call 24/7 to talk to a trained peer specialist.
  • Guests are allowed to come and go as they please.
  • Peer specialists staff the house twenty four hours a day.
  • Staff can maintain contact and support at your request after you finish your stay.
  • You must be 19 years or older.
  • You must not have any known physical illness (fever, flu symptoms, intestinal distress, etc.)
  • You must be able to maintain acceptable personal hygiene.
  • You must be responsible for preparing your meals and cleaning up after yourself.
  • You must have permanent housing after your stay.
  • You must follow the house rules which are explained when you enter the house.
I didn't focus on Bi-polar. I learned to step outside myself. My gift is an illness I share to help other people in their journey. I shared symptoms & experiences. I don't want to leave but - I want another individual to be able to benefit from the Keya House, staff & volunteers. I want very much to be a part of the Keya House's life journey. Thank you
Former Keya Guest

If you’re interested in visiting the Keya House, would like to learn more information or would like to talk with one of our trained peer specialists please call:


Statistics from our program

To date, the Keya House has seen . . .

  • Total number of guests (duplicated) 944
  • Total number of guests (unduplicated) 499
  • Total guest days 3,562

Average cost comparison for services (3,562 Days):

  • Keya House ($284/day) $ 1,011,608
  • Crisis Center ($600/day) $ 2,137,200*
  • Hospital ($1,200/day) $ 4,274,400*

*Does not include the cost of additional emergency services (police, etc.)

Guest Satisfaction

  • Helped me avoid going to the ER or Crisis Center 92%
  • Staff used language that in non-judgmental 98%
  • Staff and guests are respected equally 99%
  • The quality of time spent with staff was good 99%
  • Staff were available if I wanted to talk 98%
  • Overall, I felt comfortable in the Keya House 99%

Keya House Brochure