Last week, Kansas City experienced an unthinkable tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of Chiefs fans had descended on downtown Kansas City to celebrate the Chiefs recent Super Bowl victory. But that joyous celebration ended in gunfire and now countless families are grieving and the city is collectively trying to process why this happened and how we move forward.
In the aftermath of traumatic events such as what transpired at the Chiefs Super Bowl Rally, it is important to take care of yourself. For parents and other trusted adults, you may be helping young people navigate this tragedy as well.
Strong. Determined. Someone who cared deeply about others.
Those are the words used to describe one of our consumers whose life was tragically cut short by the cold weather earlier this fall. Our entire Wyandot BHN team, especially those who knew and worked with this woman, extend our deepest condolences to her family.
Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a crowd of 300 friends, supporters, board members and staff at our Game Changer Gala. It was an inspiring evening – filled with joy, laughter and powerful stories of recovery. Together, we raised more than $111,000 to help make mental health and substance use treatment, as well as housing services, more accessible for thousands of people across Wyandotte County.
Under a sunshine yellow awning, a new chapter is dawning for Wyandot BHN’s ArtMakers program.
After more than a decade of providing a safe place for Wyandot BHN consumers to express themselves, ArtMakers, a therapeutic art studio, now has a new location to call home. The new location, near 7th Street and Central Avenue, recently opened and Jordan Graves, ArtMakers Clinical Coordinator, has big plans for expanding the program.
The past year has been a year full of celebrations as we marked 70 years of Wyandot Behavioral Health Network. We have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to celebrate with our staff, our community partners and soon we hope to celebrate with many of our friends and supporters at our upcoming Game Changer Gala as our 70th anniversary year draws to a close.
When I started peer support almost 3 years ago, I learned how important it was to define recovery for myself. My working definition of recovery is: Recovery is celebrating the wins during the ups and keeping hope and an understanding that progress is never linear during the downs and choosing to stay. Recovery is looking backward at progress and forward at the goal. Recovery is both being able to stand on my own two feet and still being able to ask for help when needed. Recovery is thriving and not just surviving.
Years ago, when one of our case managers was asked by a community member about what they do, they responded “we create hope.” Those three words have stuck with me all these years. September is National Recovery Month and for individuals who are struggling with mental health and addiction challenges, hope is vital. And this year’s theme is “Hope is Real. Recovery is Real.”
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a community mental health center. It requires us to stay connected to the community to ensure we are meeting the current needs. And it also means providing quality, accessible care close to home. And while I might be a bit biased, I think our staff at Wyandot BHN embody what it really means to be a community mental health center. And I was thankful for the opportunity earlier this month to celebrate everything they’ve accomplished over the past year.
When an individual is experiencing a mental health crisis, being able to provide crisis intervention services in the community is key. Wyandot BHN is currently working to expand its mobile crisis response program and recent grant funding from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) will allow us to move toward expansion to a 24/7 mobile crisis response model.