Mental health services available in-person, virtually with Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 12:44 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Mental Health Association wants you to know that mental health services are available right now - or whenever you need them.

You don’t even have to leave your home to receive the help and support you need.

Many offices - including the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas - are offering telehealth counseling to reach everyone.

“Increased anxiety and our bodies and brain working even harder and that can also start to wear and tear internally on our medical organs and things like that,” Shawna Allen, senior director of outpatient services at the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas said. “When you’re looking at, we’ve been in this for six months now, there are some lasting effects that start to happen and that can weigh in on our mental health, our physical health, but just our whole wellbeing.”

The association is providing services online now – all you need is your phone to talk to a therapist and receive support.

Once you call, a counselor or therapist at MHA starts a video chat with you. They encourage anyone, whether they have mild or severe symptoms, to call.

“The first question I always ask everyone is ‘what brought you here today?’ Just opened ended,” Allen said. “Let them start telling me a little bit about what brought them here today. Sometimes it’s marriage, sometimes it’s kids, sometimes it’s work stress level.”

The association has taken more than 600 calls this week from people who are looking for support – and since July, the call volume has tripled.

“What this pandemic has shown us is, even as adults, we’re not in control of our lives anymore,” Eric Litwiller with MHA said. “That’s a really difficult place to be for an adult. Kids are used to it. Adults are not.”

MHA also offers in-person services and have added COVID-19 precautions, such as adding partitions in the waiting room. A pharmacy is also available in building.

MHA said the hardest part for some people is just picking up the phone and setting up that initial appointment to receive help.

Another barrier can also be finances. Most services at MHA are free and there’s assistance available for anyone who is unable to pay.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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