Keith Davenport
Communications Specialist
Johnson County Mental Health Center (JCMHC) has been modifying and expanding services to respond to the increased community need. These shifts include adding staff to answer the 24/7 crisis line (913-268-0156), increasing caseloads, providing phone and curbside options for medication refills and providing psychosocial groups by Zoom.
“We are here for our community,” said Tim DeWeese, JCMHC director. “People are feeling anxiety, sadness, isolation and grief during this time. It’s important for everyone to know that these feelings are normal, they are not alone and help is available.”
Community members who are not in crisis, but still experiencing mental health concerns are invited to call 913-826-4200 to set up an initial conversation regarding needs and services. Case management and counseling are currently being conducted virtually using video and phone technology. Individuals in crisis or who are caring for someone in crisis are invited to call the 24/7 crisis line at 913-268-0156.
JCMHC has also been building new online resources for all community members, even if they are not receiving professional services. Community members can visit jocogov.org/mentalhealth to access many of these resources or to sign up for the new weekly Mental Health Moment, which is being emailed out each Wednesday offering positive messages of kindness, connection and coping.
“Our staff members are vetting resources and coming up with new ideas to engage our community with messages of hope,” explained Shana Burgess, director of prevention services and community relations. “We’ve received permission from several national authors and publishers to begin reading children’s books on our Facebook page to provide comfort and support to families at home.”
Prevention services staff members are partnering with schools to provide mental health resources for staff and students. Co-Responders are responding to behavioral health concerns with local law enforcement agencies as normal. JCMHC’s residential treatment programs are providing service, but with modified admissions to support social distancing. Reading on Facebook is expected to begin within the next two weeks and can be accessed at facebook.com/jocomnh.