Wichita Journalism Collaborative

The Wichita Journalism Collaborative is an alliance of seven media organizations and three community groups, formed to support and enhance quality local journalism during the global pandemic and beyond.

In addition to KMUW, media partners include The Active Age, The Community Voice, The Journal (Kansas Leadership Center), KSN-TV, The Sunflower and The Wichita Eagle. Community partners committed to participating in the initiative include AB&C Bilingual Resources, The Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University and Wichita Public Library.

The initiative launches with support from the Wichita Community Foundation and the Solutions Journalism Network.

Ways to Connect

Mitchel Lensink / Unsplash

People living with mental illness are 12 times more likely to be the victim of a crime than the perpetrator. This is as true in Wichita as it is in the rest of the United States.

Self-Help Groups In Spanish Are Filling A Gap In Mental Health Assistance

Jun 17, 2021
Julian Montes / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

Luz María De Loera, who defines health as stability and positive feelings such as happiness and self-fulfillment, has been working hard in recent years on improving her own mental health.

For many years De Loera did not realize that she was experiencing mental health problems. Living with anxiety and depression became a normal state in her life, she said. De Loera believes that she inherited some of those symptoms from her mother and other family members, which eventually caused her to isolate herself, especially when she moved to the United States with her husband and kids.

Commentary: Educate Yourself About Suicide

Jun 4, 2021
Dan Meyers / unsplash

In the last 12 months, the rate of suicide in the city of Wichita has increased by 70%. And for the first time, the largest part of that increase has been in children. As adults, we too often discount the mental health struggles of our youth. We call it teen angst. We call it a mood. A phase. And yet, the CDC maintains statistics on suicide in those as young as five years old.

How Sedgwick County Teamed With The Black Community To Fight The Pandemic

May 25, 2021
KLC Journal

The news of her brother’s death wasn’t unexpected. But mid-March 2020 would prove to be an extremely unusual time for Margaret, an African American woman in her 70s living in Wichita, and for her family to bury a loved one.

The novel coronavirus was beginning to reach Kansas. Just hours after Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued an emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kansas recorded its first death linked to the disease.

Commentary: The Unfair Stigma Of Mental Health

May 21, 2021
Sydney Sims / Unsplash

In the Wichita metro area, every year an estimated 160,000 people live with an undiagnosed mental health concern. That’s 25% of the population, so unless you only know two other people, you probably know someone who needs mental health care, but is likely not receiving it.

Fernando Cferdo / Unsplash

Anxiety and depression are the most common and the most treatable types of mental illnesses. And since the start of the pandemic, self-screenings for anxiety are up 650% in the United States, and for depression, up 900%, with Wichita mirroring these numbers. The shifting sands of COVID-19 have created an environment where we feel like we have lost control of our own lives.

Here's Where To Find Affordable Therapy In Wichita

May 3, 2021
Wichita Journalism Collaborative

After more than a year of quarantines, business closures and working from home, some have realized that the difficulties brought on by the pandemic will stay with us for years to come.

COVID-19 raised collective awareness around mental health and well being, said Jessica Provines, assistant vice president for student affairs and wellness at Wichita State University.

Wichita State Athletes’ Journeys Through Mental Health Struggles

Apr 28, 2021
Sean Marty / The Sunflower

Just like many athletes across the country, Wichita State men’s tennis player Marius Frosa struggled in adjusting to the collegiate level.

Frosa, a native of Romania, has played the last five seasons with the Shockers. Wichita State men’s tennis coach Danny Bryan said Frosa had a difficult transition to WSU as he struggled with a negative mindset during matches on top of adjusting to a new country.

“He would get really down on himself, he’d be really tough on himself," Bryan said. "We definitely went through some tough times with him.

Breaking The Stigma: How The Pandemic Has Helped People Open Up About Mental Health Struggles

Apr 19, 2021
Kansas News Service

The psychological toll of the coronavirus pandemic is undeniable. At the height of lockdowns last spring, one in three Americans displayed signs of clinical depression or anxiety, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

There’s no way to predict or quantify the long-term impact of this collective suffering, but experts say people are now discussing their mental health and wellbeing more freely than before the pandemic, providing a chance to break down some of the stigma that has long surrounded mental illness.

Madeline Deabler / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

After a year of navigating the disruptions fostered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring of 2021 promises to be the start of a cautious reopening.

But mental health experts say the wounds of the past year could remain with us for quite some time.