mental health

KMUW/File photo

A team that responds to emergency calls involving mental health crisis situations in Sedgwick County now has the support to continue beyond a trial run.

Monette Johnson wants her husband, Chuck, to see another of the wheat harvests that have been so central to his life.

His career centered around grain elevators and wheat sales. Now in hospice care in Lindsborg, Kansas, he misses those golden fields.

So Monette recruited a family friend to Skype with him during harvest so Chuck can enjoy the scenery.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Activists and citizens from Dodge City to the Kansas City suburbs are reconsidering the involvement of police in their communities — including whether officers should continue to help respond to mental health crises.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the current coronavirus outbreak, and the disruptions to daily life can take a toll on someone’s mental health.

Mental Health Association of South-Central Kansas spokesman Eric Littwiler says clinicians there are, understandably, seeing a lot of cases of anxiety and depression.

"I think people are feeling like the world they’re used to is just shifting underneath their feet," he says, "and that creates that anxiety and creates that depression even for people who haven’t dealt with it in the past."

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Crisis care in the Wichita area is about to undergo a major overhaul.

A new plan released Thursday lays out the steps to improving mental health and substance abuse services over the next five years.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — The number of suicides in northwest Kansas increased by more than half in recent years.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Behavioral health initiatives dominate Sedgwick County’s list of state legislative priorities for a second year.

That’s because several key issues didn’t advance last session, including the push for the state to establish a regional mental health facility in Sedgwick County.

TOPEKA, Kansas — It typically took Walt Hill more than a year to recruit a psychiatrist to northwest Kansas. Now he doesn’t even bother.

Instead, the executive director of the High Plains Mental Health Center relies on out-of-state doctors willing to work remotely, treating patients through video conference.

For years, the center has used remote appointments with local psychiatrists to reach patients in far-flung corners of its coverage area, which spans 20 largely rural counties.

KMUW/File photo

A first responder team that handles mental health crisis calls in Sedgwick County is expected to be back on duty this month.

The Integrated Care Team, known as ICT-1, disbanded when a trial period for the program ended in October.

When Dan Hoyt started graduate school at the University of Kansas in 2016, he knew he had anxiety and depression. He worried about being able to find a job after graduation. And, sometimes, he couldn’t get through his assigned reading.

“When you have anxieties, that gets impossible,” he said. “I'll think about the same things over and over and over again.”

But when he reached out to KU’s counseling services, he was told he had to wait five months before he could get an appointment with a therapist at the Lawrence campus. And getting there from KU’s Overland Park campus, where he took classes, complicated things.

Pages