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New Mental Health Services Project Begins In November


A Wichita organization will begin a new program next month to help people with mental illnesses cope with stressful situations.

Episcopal Social Services plans to launch a one-year project in November that will provide classes for adults with serious mental health issues.

Executive director Barbara Andres says evidence-based training will be used to teach people the tools they need to successfully navigate a conflict or difficult situation.

"I think this will really help folks control their anger and control their behavior, so they don’t end up being booked into jail or ending up in a psychiatric hospital," Andres says.

She says they hope to get at least 60 people through the training. The goal is that 70 percent of them will not be incarcerated within the year after the training is completed. 

A $47,000 grant from the Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will pay for the project.

The council also awarded about $300,000 worth of grants to other Sedgwick County programs that improve public safety and crime prevention.

Organizations that received funding include:

  • Bel Aire Police Department, $30,594 to implement an evidence management system to ensure an accurate chain of custody and evidence tracking.
  • Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters, $80,306 to support mentoring programs for children who have a parent or caregiver who is currently or has formerly been incarcerated.
  • Via Christi Hospital, $167,068 to care for victims of sexual assault, physical assault, domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse or sexual exploitation, including victims of human trafficking.
  • Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center, $23,939 to provide staffing for its 24-hour victim support hotline.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

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