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Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas announces program aimed at helping churches, pastors

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 11:56 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas announced a new initiative on Thursday offering mental health resources to churches, pastors and their staff.

MHA said it will be a back-office resource to an estimated 417 congregations in the city of Wichita and thousands of churches throughout the south-central Kansas region. The agency said congregations are not immune to mental health.

MHA said in the city of Wichita alone, 100,000 people required mental health care before the coronavirus pandemic. Only 40,000 people actually seek the treatment that they need.

The program will help increase visibility and raise the education level about mental illness at no cost to area churches. MHA staff stands ready to help at churches.

MHA said during the pandemic, in Wichita, anxiety screenings increase by 650%, depression screenings increased 900% and suicides increased by 70%. The fastest-growing demographic of those taking their own lives have been those who are under the age of 18.

Gov. Laura Kelly was in Wichita and toured the Mental Health Association Thursday afternoon.

To contact the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, call 316-651-1241.

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