The Behavioral Health Education, Retention, and Expansion Network of Nevada (BeHERE NV) is a new workforce development initiative to increase the number of providers of behavioral health care in Nevada. BeHERE NV will focus on growing a diverse mental health workforce to care for Nevada’s diverse population.

History

  • For many years, Nevada has ranked 51st in the nation when it comes to the prevalence of mental illness and access to mental healthcare (Mental Health America).
  • Shortages in workforce numbers across multiple mental health disciplines have been documented throughout the state (Office of Statewide Initiatives; HRSA Health Professional Shortage Areas).
  • Other states experiencing the same issues, especially in rural and frontier areas, are focusing on a “grown our own” model of workforce development.
  • In 2023, the Nevada Legislature unanimously passed Assembly Bill 37 to create a statewide behavioral health workforce development center within the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).
  • AB 37 was a collaborative effort between the Nevada Rural Regional Behavioral Health Policy Board and University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
  • In September 2023, the NSHE Board of Regents approved UNLV’s proposal to establish the Behavioral Health Education, Retention, and Expansion Network of Nevada (BeHERE NV).

Our Goals

  • Provide outreach and education about behavioral health professionals to K-12 and adult learners in Nevada.
  • Highlight education pathways within the Nevada System of Higher Education for behavioral health skills training, certificates, and degrees.
  • Increase post-graduate internship opportunities and supervisors.
  • Retain the existing Nevada behavioral health workforce through outreach and technical assistance.

Our Partners

Sara Hunt, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Sara Hunt is the associate professor at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Iowa and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Utah State University.

Dr. Hunt’s clinical interests focus on individuals with chronic health conditions and integrated models of health care. She is also the director of the UNLV Mental and Behavioral Health Training Coalition, where she has worked toward addressing Nevada’s mental and behavioral health workforce shortage by establishing BeHERE NV. As a member and past president of the Nevada Psychological Association, Dr. Hunt is committed to providing quality healthcare services to those in need.

When not working on BeHERE NV, Dr. Hunt cheers for the Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights or catches up on her favorite Netflix shows or podcasts with family and friends.

Adriana Monroy, B.S.

Administrative Assistant III

Adriana Monroy is a devoted administrative assistant at BeHERE NV. As a first-generation college graduate and Spanish-speaking Latin-American, she has a strong passion for promoting mental health awareness. Adriana earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in business management from California State University, East Bay.

During her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her furry companion Bruno, discovering new places around town, binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, or visiting loved ones in San Diego.

Jill Manit, Ph.D., MSW

Associate Director of Education and Training

Dr. Jill Manit is the Associate Director of Education and Training for BeHERE NV. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science and a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Nevada Reno (UNR). Dr. Manit has been in higher education for nearly 20 years and most recently served as the MSW Program Director in the School of Social Work at Sacred Heart University. She has experience teaching courses across social work curricula and also worked with social work students at UNR in her role as Director of Field Education.


Dr. Manit’s practice background spans working with individuals, groups, and communities. She has provided direct services in the fields of substance abuse treatment, family services, and was actively involved in building substance abuse prevention coalitions across the state of Nevada. While at the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies (CASAT) at UNR, Dr. Manit provided extensive training and technical assistance in the area of program evaluation to substance abuse prevention providers across the Western region of the United States, including the Pacific Jurisdictions. Through this work, Dr. Manit supported programs in balancing the demands of accountability at the federal and state levels with local cultural contexts that impact service delivery. This effort sparked a humble pursuit for understanding the impact of culture, diversity, inclusion, oppression and organizational context on individuals and families within service delivery systems.


Dr. Manit is passionate about mobilizing stakeholders to meet the needs of local communities and looks forward to an opportunity to expand the behavioral health workforce across the state of Nevada. When not working on BeHERE NV, Dr. Manit can be found hanging out with her family and pets or exploring the world of Italian language learning

Ruby Kelly, M.S.

Senior Grant Specialist

Ruby Kelly is the Senior Grants Specialist for BeHERE NV. She has a Master’s of Science in Equity and Diversity in Education and a Bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Nevada Reno (UNR). Ruby has previously worked in workforce development in higher education for nearly 10 years. Most recently was the School Based Mental Health Services Grant’s project director at the Department of Education, promoting workforce development for our School Based Mental Health Professionals..

In Ruby’s ten years in Higher Education, she was the GEAR UP Ambassador which promoted first generation college students to go to college. She then transitioned to being the Perkins Grant Manager and Career and Technical Education Coordinator for seven great years for Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nevada. Her main goal is promoting positive behavioral health and workforce development to get more Behavioral Health professionals in our communities. Ruby looks forward to aligning funding and goals to better promote workforce development in Nevada.


Ruby is married and has two very active young boys – a 1.5 year old and a newly turned 5 year old. She enjoys going camping together as a family. She adores her two lively Australian Shepard/Border Collies and her sassy cat.

Roberta Miranda-Alfonzo, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Recruitment and Outreach

Roberta Miranda-Alfonzo, Ph.D., CPC, LCADC-S, NCC, ACS, CPGC-I, serves as the Associate Director of Recruitment and Outreach. She is strongly dedicated to fostering excellence in behavioral health professionals and has a profound commitment to education, supervision, and mentorship. She endeavors to recruit, retain, and motivate individuals pursuing careers in behavioral health, mental health, and addiction counseling. As a dually-licensed addiction and mental health professional counselor and state-approved supervisor, she has gained experience in a wide array of treatment and academic settings for over twenty years.


Despite facing adversity as a high school dropout in Las Vegas, Roberta’s journey is a testament to resilience and the transformative power of mentorship. Grateful for the guiding figures who supported her path, she pursued her academic aspirations, earning a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Community Counseling from UNLV, followed by a Ph.D. in Counseling from Oregon State University. Identified as Mexican-American, Roberta is deeply committed to inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers as fellow providers in the behavioral health field.


Beyond her professional endeavors, Roberta finds joy in traveling, exploring the arts district in Downtown Las Vegas, and hosting themed parties for friends and family.

css.php