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Mental Health

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Johnson County Mental Health Center offers a wide range of mental health and substance abuse services to Johnson County residents. The Mental Health Center serves as a safety net for individuals with the most severe forms of mental illness, including those who are unable to afford or access care elsewhere in the community. If we are not the appropriate provider for you, we will assist you in finding a provider in the community that can better meet your needs.

Like physical illnesses, mental illness shows itself in a variety of ways. Depending on the situation’s seriousness, a variety of treatment options are available. We provide services throughout the county with highly trained and compassionate professionals.

To contact Johnson County Mental Health, please call (913) 826-4200

Johnson County Mental Health Center complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national orgin, age, disability or sex.

Department News

Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Kate Spade’s death prompts conversations about mental health
June 6, 2018

 Many times, people shy away from the word “suicide," but news of designer Kate Spade's death has prompted discussions about mental health and suicide prevention across the country.

Read More At: http://fox4kc.com/2018/06/05/dont-be-afraid-to-ask-for-help-kate-spades-death-prompts-conversations-about-mental-health/

Efforts to Battle Suicide Crisis Underway in Johnson County, KS
June 6, 2018

With thousands of kids out for the summer, the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition has a message for parents. KCTV5’s Jessica Reyes explains how they’re battling the suicide crisis in the county.

Read More at: http://www.kctv5.com/clip/14398782/efforts-to-battle-suicide-crisis-underway-in-johnson-county-ks

Johnson County named Stepping Up Innovator County for efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail
May 22, 2018

Johnson County was selected as one of seven counties in the nation as a Stepping Up Innovator County for its expertise in taking actions to reduce the number of people in jail who experience mental illness.

As an Innovator County, Johnson County’s efforts will be highlighted as part of a new push from Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails to help counties consistently identify and collect data on this population.

“On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, I want to congratulate the county professionals — mental health clinicians, law enforcement officers and many others — who have worked hard to earn this national designation and to better serve our community’s vulnerable populations,” said Chairman Ed Eilert.

Each of the seven Innovator Counties is using the Stepping Up suggested three-step approach to having accurate, accessible data on people who have serious mental illness in their jails.

Those steps include: establish a shared definition of serious mental illness for local criminal justice and behavioral health systems’ Stepping Up efforts; ensure everyone booked into jail is screened for mental illness and those who screen positive are referred to a follow-up clinical assessment and regularly report on this population.

“Every day, people with mental illness are booked into jails across the country,” said Mental Health Center Director Tim DeWeese. “The number of people who have mental illnesses in jail is three to six times higher than that of the general public. We’re grateful to the county’s leadership for making Stepping Up a priority, allowing us to help those who experience mental illness avoid incarceration and to receive the help they deserve.”

Read More: http://www.shawneedispatch.com/news/2018/may/17/johnson-county-named-stepping-innovator-county-eff/

Proposed Kansas law would cut back suicide prevention training in schools
October 29, 2018

A bill moving through the Senate committee process could possibly change a law requiring schools to train all their employees on suicide prevention.

Those who support the bill say they are in support of the training, but they want to reduce the number of people required to take it.

Right now, every worker in Kansas schools is required to be trained to spot people with suicidal tendencies.

State lawmakers approved the Jason Flatt Act in 2016 which requires a minimum of one hour of training per person every school year. Now, a bill moving through the senate committee process could change that. 

“We just feel that there’s a price tag for people that are being trained that probably don’t have the connection with kids," said G.A. Buie, Executive Director of the Kansas Superintendents Association.

The proposed bill would change it so only “selected” staff would be required to do training. It would also remove the one-hour minimum.

Supporters say it’s not necessary to train people who have little contact with students. But, mental health experts disagree. They say the more people the better the chances of stopping someone from taking their life.

“I believe that you have to have interaction to be able to ask the most difficult question, and that is: are you thinking of killing yourself or are you thinking of committing suicide?” said Tim Deweese, Director of Johnson County Mental Health Center.

Read More : http://www.kctv5.com/story/37470692/proposed-kansas-law-would-cut-back-suicide-prevention-training-in-schools

Youth suicide rates are rising in Kansas. A teen crisis center in Johnson County could help
October 29, 2018

Youth suicide rates are rising in Kansas. A teen crisis center in Johnson County could help

But in the entire state of Kansas, no such public facility exists for teenagers. What’s more, the number of psychiatric residential treatment beds available to serve children in Kansas has plummeted in recent years, from about 780 in 2011, to only about 208 now.

At all times, about 15 Johnson County teenagers are on a waiting list for an open bed.

This is why a suicidal teenager might wind up in the juvenile unit at the Johnson County Detention Center instead of an appropriate mental health center. And the police officer who brings the youth there must stay with them, as the building is neither staffed nor designed to care for children suffering a mental health crisis.

Three Johnson County officials are working on a solution: Tim DeWeese, director of the county’s mental health center; Robert Sullivan, director of corrections; and Ted Jester, director of juvenile services.

They’ve scoured county buildings for an available space and have tapped state officials to map out licensing requirements.

The men began their work shortly before the death of John Albers, a suicidal 17-year-old who was shot and killed by an Overland Park police officer last month.

The tragedy steeled their resolve. As did news that two Shawnee Mission Northwest High School students took their own lives. And all of the other cases of young people dealing with mental health conditions, most of which do not become headline news.

Both Missouri and Kansas have high rates of youth suicide. And the pace is accelerating.

Envisioned is a crisis center that Kansas parents could bring children to as well. Nearly 50 percent of people treated at crisis centers can be stabilized within the first 48 hours, Sullivan said.

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