mental health

Up To Date
12:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Kansas Program Offers Police Alternative To Jail For Mentally Ill

Area police departments are looking for was to reduce the numbers of  mentally ill and substance abusers ending up in jail. A new program in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties is helping to address this very issue. Rainbow Services, Inc provides a way for law enforcement officers to bring people they encounter to resources that can help them.

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Heartland Health Monitor
9:27 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Kansas Suspends Voluntary Admissions To Osawatomie State Hospital

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has suspended voluntary admissions to Osawatomie State Hospital, one of the state’s two inpatient facilities for people with serious mental illnesses.

The decision, according to a memo sent to the state’s 26 community mental health centers late Tuesday afternoon, was driven by “ongoing and critical census challenges” at the state hospital. The memo also outlined procedures for handling patients who are involuntarily admitted.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:46 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Kansas Effort To Tighten Regulation Of Mental Health Drugs Raises Concerns

Kansas law currently bars state officials from placing restrictions on mental health drugs prescribed to Medicaid recipients. A legislative committee recommended repealing that law last week, saying the state needs to step in to prevent inappropriate use of such drugs.
Credit Rex Roof / Creative Commons-Flickr


A legislative committee’s recommendation could reignite a debate over whether the state should have the power to regulate Medicaid reimbursements for mental health medications, as it does for other types of drugs.

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Central Standard
2:45 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Untangling Misconceptions About Eating Disorders

High standards. A desire for greater control. A predisposition toward anxiety or depression. These traits are common among people who suffer from eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia. These illnesses are complex, multifaceted and incredibly dangerous. Body image is just the tip of the iceberg.


  • Dr. Ashley McCune, counselor, InSight
  • Jon Smith, patient in recovery
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Heartland Health Monitor
6:38 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Crisis Intervention Center To Open In Topeka

The community mental health center in Topeka on Thursday will formally open a 26-bed crisis intervention center that’s expected to lead to fewer mentally ill adults being referred to Osawatomie State Hospital or ending up in jail.

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:05 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Documentary Casts Light On Kansas City's Mental Health Care Woes

A KCPD officer and a mental health liaison talk with a mentally ill man who is in need of treatment.
Credit Michael Price / KCPT

The state of Kansas City's mental health care services is dire, according to a new documentary.

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Michael Price's Lost Minds: KC's Mental Health Crisis focuses on the growing number of fraught confrontations between severely mentally ill people and police on Kansas City's streets. The locally produced documentary airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on KCPT. 

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:22 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Johnson County Names DeWeese As Mental Health Director

Johnson County announced Thursday that it has hired a new director for its mental health center.

The new hire is Tim DeWeese, a longtime staff member of the Johnson County Mental Health Center.

For nearly the past two years, DeWeese has served as director of clinical services, overseeing the largest operating division of the center. He has also served the center as director of community support services and as a crisis case-management team leader.

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:12 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Missouri, Kansas Universities Receive Mental Health Grants

Academic institutions in Missouri and Kansas were awarded federal grants of more than $1.2 million to train mental health providers, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.

The grants were among $99 million disbursed by HHS under the Obama administration’s “Now Is the Time” plan aimed at reducing gun violence, increasing access to mental health services and making schools safer, according to a department news release.

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Heartland Health Monitor
9:44 am
Fri September 19, 2014

KDADS Identifies 11 Communities With Greater Mental Health Needs

Lea Taylor, an assistant secretary for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, says KDADS has been working with officials in Kansas communities that appear to have above-average numbers of residents with mental illness.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service


A Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services official said Thursday that the agency has identified 11 communities that appear to be referring inordinate numbers of patients to the state hospitals for mentally ill or have above-average numbers of inmates in the state’s correctional systems who are known to be mentally ill.

“We’ve been going out and meeting with people in those communities,” said KDADS Assistant Secretary Lea Taylor, addressing a statewide conference in Lawrence on law enforcement training and mental health crises.

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Central Standard
3:10 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Mental Health In Immigrant Communities

Community specialist Rinzin Wangpo (second from the left in the back) pays a visit to the Khadka family, originally of Bhutan, living in the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Understanding where people come from and how they think is crucial in mental health treatments. Cultural belief systems affect how we view just about everything, including the mind and its troubles. Kansas City area health workers discuss how that understanding shapes their work with immigrant communities.


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Heartland Health Monitor
4:30 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Early Signs Show Promise For Rainbow Mental Health Facility, Officials Say

Mattresses lined the walls of the sobering unit shortly after the Rainbow Mental Health Facility reopened in Kansas City, Kan., in April.
Credit Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism


A reconstituted mental health facility in Kansas City, Kan., has been a financial and therapeutic success in its first five months of operation, officials involved in the transition said Wednesday.

“It’s great news so far,” said Kari Bruffett, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), “and I think it’s only going to get better.”

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Heartland Health Monitor
2:18 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Ottawa Shooting Points Up Need For Police Training To Handle The Mentally Ill

James Green, a second cousin of Joseph Jennings, lights a candle that’s part of a curbside memorial created by Jennings’ friends and family members near the Orscheln Farm & Home store in Ottawa, Kan.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service


Out of the 8,000 full- and part-time law enforcement officers in Kansas, only 1 in 4 have been trained to handle crisis calls involving the mentally ill.

Records show that 80 percent of the nearly 1,800 trained officers work in four high-population counties: Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte.

The other 20 percent — about 360 officers — are spread across police and sheriff’s departments in the remaining 101 counties.

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Heartland Health Monitor
5:17 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Kansas Mental Health System Under Increasing Stress

The patient count at Osawatomie State Hospital is at its highest point in 10 years.
Credit / Kansas State Historical Society


One day last month, Osawatomie State Hospital had 254 patients in its care — almost 50 more than its optimal capacity.

The overcrowded conditions forced a few dozen patients, all of them coping with a serious mental illness and likely a danger to themselves or others, to be triple-bunked in rooms meant for two.

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Up to Date
10:52 am
Mon August 18, 2014

How To Identify A Depressed Teen--And What You Can Do To Help

Dr. Wes Crenshaw returns to discuss teen depression with guest host Jeremy Bernfeld.
Credit Ryan Melaugh / Flickr-CC

Young people experience complex emotions, and it can be hard to pick out which teens are at risk for depression and other mental issues. Some problems may just be natural growing pains, but some are not.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about what teen depression is-- and what it isn't-- and examine the broad range of strategies available to treat it.


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Up to Date
11:04 am
Wed August 13, 2014

How Lifestyle Changes Can Help Depression

Entertainer Robin Williams' suicide is focusing national attention on the problem of depression.
Credit Ron Henry / Flickr-CC

The death of Robin Williams is sparking a nation-wide discussion about depression and its effects.

On Wednesday's Up to Date we hear about new research that suggests that lifestyle changes can make more of a difference than medicine when it comes to clinical depression.


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Central Standard
4:59 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Stress: From Causes To Coping Mechanisms

More than a quarter of Americans self-identify as being under a great deal of stress. What's troubling us, and why do some people respond to stressful situations with greater resilience than others?


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Heartland Health Monitor
10:42 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Kansas, Missouri Clinics Get Grants To Expand Mental Health Services

Four safety net clinics in Kansas and three in Missouri have been awarded federal funding to create or expand mental health services for low-income individuals. 

The funding is part of almost $55 million in similar grants nationwide through the Affordable Care Act. The clinics will each receive about $250,000.

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas saw 2,500 patients for mental health issues last year.  CEO Krista Postai says she intends to use the new money to integrate medical and behavioral care.

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Heartland Health Monitor
4:09 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Hundreds Learn Mental Health First Aid At City-Wide Training Events

Warren and Eyvette Carter follow mental health first-aid lessons taught by Cadi Sanchez.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

At the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center on Thursday afternoon, Eyvette Carter struggled to carry on a basic conversation with her husband, Warren.

She was distracted in no small part by Karl Chaney whispering in her ear.

“Don’t trust him. Is he looking at you? Why would he want to talk to you?” Chaney said.

The group was taking part in an auditory hallucination simulation, designed to demonstrate the experience of a psychotic episode.

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Central Standard
3:26 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Glore Psychiatric Museum Is A Missouri Mental Health Time Capsule

Devices like "fever cabinets" (on view at the Glore Psychiatric Museum) were used to treat mental illness before medical advances rendered them obsolete.
Credit Gina Kaufmann, KCUR

On Thursday's Central Standard, we looked back at the history of intervention in mental health crises, going all the way back to the 19th century. 

The Glore Psychiatric Museum (formerly known as State Lunatic Asylum #2) captures both the treatments of the past and the controversies they sparked. Treatments in mental health hospitals once ranged from a "bath of surprise," which disrupted thought-patterns by dropping the patient into a shockingly cold bath, to lobotomies and fever cabinets.

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Heartland Health Monitor
8:52 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Kansas Governor Finds Additional $9.5 Million For Mental Health

Gov. Sam Brownback announced his administration will spend an additional $9.5 million on mental health services with most of the money earmarked for family preservation programs. The governor, center, is flanked by KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan and DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News Service

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday announced that his administration will spend an additional $9.5 million on services for the mentally ill in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

“This is a major, important issue,” Brownback said during an afternoon press conference at the Statehouse.

Most of new money - $7 million – will come from the state’s federally funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant.

The remainder will come from other sources including:

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Heartland Health Monitor
3:34 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Kansas City Area Coalition Launches To Fight Stigma Of Mental Ilness

John Shuchart, who has discussed his bout with depression, spoke Wednesday at the launch of the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition. Looking on was Don Goldman, CEO of Jewish Family Services.
Credit Submitted photo / Jewish Family Services

Organizers on Wednesday unveiled a new partnership that builds on a mental health initiative started in the local Jewish community.

The aim of the effort, known as the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition, is to broaden to other parts of the metropolitan area the message from the Jewish community that it’s all right to talk about mental illness.

Led by Jewish Family Services (JFS), the coalition is a bistate effort that includes providers, support groups, advocacy organizations and other nonprofits.

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Heartland Health Monitor
10:14 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Plans Advance For Mental Health Crisis Center In Kansas City

Mattresses line the walls of the sobering unit in the newly reopened Rainbow Mental Health Facility in Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism


Representatives from a broad spectrum of agencies and organizations, including hospitals and courts, are crystallizing plans they hope will help solve a health problem in Kansas City, Mo.

The issue is that people who are high, drunk or in psychiatric crisis clog emergency rooms and tie up first-responders with needs more suited to mental health intervention, according to organizers.

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5:01 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Kansas City Groups Pursuing Mental Health Crisis Center

Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Judge Joseph Locascio is leading an initiative to establish a mental health crisis stabilization center in the city.
Credit Mike Sherry / The Hale Center For Journalism

Kansas City, Mo., would be home to a regional facility aimed largely at diverting substance abusers from jail and hospital emergency rooms under a plan that has garnered support from law enforcement officials, political leaders and health care providers.

The vision actually represents dual efforts that began independently, but which might coalesce as a collaboration between area hospitals and a coalition formed by Joseph Locascio, the presiding judge of Kansas City Municipal Court. He also oversees the city’s specialty court aimed at substance abusers.

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Central Standard
4:01 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Police Training On How To Respond To Mental Health Situations

Police officers often respond to situations that involve people suffering from mental health problems.

Since they are called first for help, there is a growing effort to train the officers in how to handle the situations.

On today's Central Standard, we discuss how police training is changing in order to accommodate mental health crisis response techniques.


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6:17 am
Wed March 12, 2014

New Mental Health Crisis Strategy To Launch In Kansas City

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announces mental health crisis center in Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Every day, police in the Kansas City metro area are inundated with calls to handle mental illness emergencies.

"Usually more than one time a day,” says Don Ash, sheriff of Wyandotte County, Kan.  “Calls could come in from a family member. Calls could come in from the general public. From a business owner.”

Someone might be picked up for something as simple as loitering or trespassing, and even though it might clearly a mental health emergency, police typically have little choice but to take them to jail or possibly an emergency room.

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7:17 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Brownback Announces Plan To Repurpose Rainbow Mental Health Facility

Gov. Sam Brownback talks with Capt. Doug Paresi of the Kansas City, Kan. Police Department. Paresi said the reconfigured Rainbow Mental Health Facility would give law enforcement a new option for dealing with mentally ill persons who otherwise might end up behind bars.
Credit Dave Ranney / KHI News

Gov. Sam Brownback Thurday unveiled his administration’s plan for reopening the Rainbow Mental Health Facility.

“I think this is a winner,” Brownback said, referring to a Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services plan for privatizing the state hospital’s operations.

The plan calls for converting the former 50-bed inpatient facility to a 10-bed “crisis stabilization resource” designed to connect people with serious and persistent mental illness to community-based services.

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8:12 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Nixon Proposes $20 Million To Train Mental Health Professionals

Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri is sorely lacking in mental health services, but he hopes to fix that with more higher education spending. 

Speaking Wednesday at UMKC’s School of Nursing, the Governor said his balanced budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015 included $20 million in grants for schools to train future psychiatrists, psychologist and mental health nurses.

Only 10 of the state’s 114 counties currently have adequate mental health care, according to a federal report.

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Up to Date
9:45 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence

The Cape Cod Grandmothers Against Gun Violence rally in Boston.
Credit Grandmothers Against Gun Violence/Facebook

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Washington Navy Yard shootings, many find themselves questioning the use of guns in society. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with a Cape Cod grandma who wants to change the dialogue on gun violence in this country. She joins Steve Kraske to discuss her plan to encourage accountability and responsibility while finding common ground with gun owners. 


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Central Standard
4:51 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

What Is Sex Addiction?

Credit Lynda Sanchez / Flickr - CC

Now more than ever, our society seems preoccupied with sex. Sexting and twerking are a part of our lexicon. Whether we’re talking about television, popular music or movies, sexual images and innuendo are everywhere. And access to pornography is as easy as a click of a mouse for the over 40 million people who log into porn websites. Given the highly sexualized society we live in, can a person really become addicted to sex? And at what point does sex become an unhealthy addiction—a bad habit that interferes with work, relationships and mental health?

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11:38 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Children's Center Announces $2.3M Grant To Expand Trauma Programs

Credit PraveenbenK / Flickr--CC

The Crittenton Children’s Center Friday announced it was receiving a major grant to help preschool-aged children cope with trauma.

In front of a crowd of around 200 health professionals at the Kaufmann Foundation, Crittenton CEO Janine Hron said that the Center will be able to expand its Head Start – Trauma Smart program thanks to a $2.3 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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