News - CEO Blog

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.

Improving the Mental Health System in Kansas

The COVID-19 National Emergency has now come to an end. And while that doesn’t mean that we’re living in a “post-COVID” world, I think many of us would agree that we can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief. But if you ask me, there has been a silver lining to come from the pandemic. It helped us normalize mental health and the need for support.

The Intersection of Justice & Mental Health

For years, Wyandot BHN has closely partnered with law enforcement and the local judicial system to ensure that individuals involved in the justice system have access to quality behavioral health services. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that 44 percent of those in jail and 37 percent of those in prison have a mental illness. Those numbers are even higher for individuals experiencing substance use disorders. And incarceration can make existing mental health or substance use challenges even worse.

Respecting the Black Experience During Black History Month

Each February, we celebrate Black History Month. It is a time to deepen our understanding of not only the contributions of the Black community, but also of the Black experience.

Taking Care of Yourself (and Others) in 2023

Earlier this month, I was listening to post-game interviews on the radio while on my way home from a KU basketball game. As the interviews were wrapping up, one of KU’s young guards, Joseph Yesufu, was asked about his new year’s resolution for 2023. And what he said struck me. He said he was going to do one thing every day for someone else.

The idea of doing something kind for someone else – even if you don’t do it every day – is something we should all consider, especially if you are looking for ways to improve your mental health in 2023.

Putting a Greater Emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Wyandot BHN has long held Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) as a priority. However, for far too long, our commitment to DEI has not been documented in a formal, public manner. As we begin our 70th anniversary celebration and continue to put a greater emphasis on diversity and cultural competency, we are pleased to share our new DEI statement. 

What Does it Mean to be Grounded in Community?

Wyandot Behavioral Health Network has been fortunate to be able to serve the Wyandotte County community for seven decades. And as 2022 draws to a close, we are launching a year of celebrations – commemorating 70 years of service to the community.

Racism is a Public Health Crisis

The Unified Government Public Health Department is taking an important new step in their efforts to address health disparities in Wyandotte County: by declaring racism as a public health crisis. If approved, the Unified Government would join more than 250 other cities, counties and government entities, including Kansas City, Missouri, in making similar declarations.

The Importance of Hope During Suicide Prevention Month

Late last month, the suicide death of a young Wisconsin news anchor made headlines. Neena Pacholke was just 27 years old. Tragically, suicide continues to claim too many lives.

In Kansas, someone dies by suicide every 16 hours, according to Kansas Suicide Prevention Headquarters (KSPHQ). Suicide was the 9th leading cause of death in Kansas in 2019.

Commitment to Diversity Must Begin at the Top

Creating a team that can provide compassionate, culturally competent care requires that diverse voices and perspectives be present at all levels. When diverse voices have a seat at the table, their lived experiences and knowledge put an organization in a much better position to stay in tune with the needs of the community.

Recognizing BIPOC Mental Health Month

July is Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month, also known as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The month, much like its namesake, is dedicated to highlighting and improving the mental health of diverse communities. But in order to improve mental health in the BIPOC community, we first have to seek to understand and respect the unique stressors and barriers they live with, which impact their access to mental health services.

Blaming Mental Illness for Mass Shootings is Harmful

When tragedy strikes, it is normal to want to understand why it happened. Being able to pinpoint the “why” can sometimes provide a degree of comfort and give us something to focus on as we work to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the future. But this can often lead to finger pointing about who or what is to blame for tragedies.