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JCMHC hosts 1st national mental health co-responder conference

Johnson County Mental Health Center is hosting 175 attendees from 18 different states this week at the inaugural National Co-Responder Conference. 

This first-of-its-kind conference celebrates collaborative programs that embed mental health professionals within law enforcement agencies, schools and other organizations. 

Chairman Ed Eilert from the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners introduced Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers who delivered remarks on Tuesday morning, March 10 during day two’s opening session.

Complete conference information is available at jocogov.org/corcon.

Johnson County Mental Health Center’s Co-Responder Program currently includes 11 co-responders, serving in 12 law enforcement agencies and one school district. The program launched in 2011 with the City of Olathe. The program has won two national awards for achievement and innovation and two local awards for excellence in community service. The success of Co-Responders contributed to Johnson County’s designation by the national Stepping Up Initiative as one of seven Innovator Counties in the nation for reducing the number of people in jail with mental health conditions. The Stepping Up Initiative is sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Counties and the Council of State Governments Justice Center. A map of the service area in the county is available online.

Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers, a businessman, former State Senator, and former Wichita Board of Education president, has been fighting for Kansas families for decades. Since being inaugurated just over one year ago, Lynn has led the creation of the Office of Rural Prosperity and spent the majority of his time in office on the road visiting Kansans and their communities. During his time as a school board member in Wichita, he saw the effects the mental health crisis had upon students and their families. In the face of that, he worked to ensure that USD 259 helped mitigate those effects.

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