Wyandotte County

Free Mental Health First Aid training offered

By Mark Wiebe, Wyandot Inc. Public Affairs Director

On July 10, the Metropolitan Council of Community Mental Health Centers will host a Mental Health First Aid ‘Day.’ This first-ever opportunity for the Kansas City area will be offered at no cost to the public thanks to funding from the Health Care Foundation and the Jackson County Community Mental Health Fund.

Our aim is to certify more than 250 Kansas Citians in the adult or youth version of the course and increase the ranks of people trained to respond to a mental health crisis. In the process, we hope to add momentum to an already robust conversation about mental health in the region.

On mental health and poverty: The new Rainbow to offer 'port of calm,' 'port of access'

By Mark Wiebe, Wyandot Inc. public affairs director

In Sunday's New York Times, a headline on the op/ed page underscored one of the central challenges in mental health and criminal justice circles: How do we reduce the number of people with mental illness in our jails and prisons? The column, "Inside a Mental Health Hospital Called Jail," profiles Cook County Jail in Chicago, where some 60 percent of the inmates on a given day are diagnosed with a mental illness.

On mental health and poverty: Suicide prevention 'everyone's business'

By Mark Wiebe, Wyandot Inc. public affairs director

When I was a young teen-ager, a friend of mine lost his mother to suicide. I didn't know her well, mostly through the carpool our mothers participated in. But I do remember she always seemed upbeat and chatty, and that she whistled a lot as she drove us to and from school.

I'm ashamed to admit it now, but I don't recall ever saying a word to my friend about his mother's death. Not one single "How are you doing?" or "What can I do to help?"

Substance abuse programs funded by liquor taxes

By Mike Sherry, HCF guest blogger and KHI News Service journalist

Officials in Johnson County are about to kick off a process that distributes more than a million dollars each year to fight substance abuse within the county’s schools and communities.

And, the funding comes courtesy of liquor sales.

Since the late 1970s, Kansas has imposed a 10 percent tax on alcoholic drinks sold by clubs, caterers and drinking establishments.