News - CEO Blog

Remembering Phil Bohlander, the Quintessential Therapist

A few weeks ago, Wyandot BHN lost one of our own. Phil Bohlander, a long-time therapist, passed away after an accident. Phil had been a steady and reassuring force in this organization for more than 30 years, most recently as a therapist on our adult outpatient therapy team. Phil mentored me when I first joined the Wyandot family as a new therapist in 1993. And he has done the same for countless other therapists over the past three decades. His passing is a significant loss for our staff, our clients and the larger community.

Kansas City is a Resilient City

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.

It’s Time for Kansas to Pass Medicaid Expansion

The Kansas Legislature is back in session. And as lawmakers convene in Topeka, many Kansans are left asking the same question. Will this be the year that Kansas finally adopts Medicaid Expansion?

Remembering a Life Cut Short

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.

Restoring Hope with the Promise of a Path Forward

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.

70 Years: A Time to Look Back & Look to the Future

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.

Creating Hope During National Recovery Month

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.”

Taking a Moment to Celebrate

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.

Nobody Should Be Discharged into Homelessness

When a person is discharged from a hospital, the idea is to transition their care from the hospital back into the community. This idea holds true for mental and behavioral health treatment. But what happens if the person being discharged does not have a permanent home or address? What happens to them? And how does that affect their recovery?

Alive & Thrive Says Goodbye (for now)

After four years of addressing individual and community trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and helping to promote resiliency in Wyandotte County, Alive & Thrive is saying goodbye – for now. At this time, funding for Alive & Thrive cannot be sustained.

A Celebration of Recovery

Last month, we had the unique opportunity to celebrate the recovery journeys of dozens of Wyandot BHN clients, staff and community members at the stART the conversation art exhibition. It’s not every day that we get a chance to see, hear and celebrate stories of recovery from our friends and neighbors. But that is what makes stART the conversation such a special event. It brings together Kansas Citians with varying levels of experience with art without any sort of “acceptance process.” The exhibition is about providing a platform for anyone who has a message to share about mental health. And the messages that were shared this year were powerful and started important conversations about mental health and recovery.

Improved Mental Health Care Benefits All of Us

Mental Health Month is a time to educate ourselves about the realities of mental health. And I was encouraged to see nearly 700 Kansas Citians doing just that at the Mental Health KC Conference earlier this month. While the conference primarily attracts mental health professionals, it is also starting to reach more corporate and business community members, as well as parents and others in the community who just want to deepen their understanding of mental health.