Nearly five million children in the United States experience some form of mental illness each year. Recognizing an intense need for children’s mental health services, Southeast Kansas Mental Health responded with solutions that have the whole family in mind. Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center partners with school districts in all six counties we serve to support parents in assisting youth with mental health treatment.

This comprehensive care plan was implemented after noticing that many parents felt the intense pressure of maintaining school attendance and having equitable access to mental health treatment. Our school-based programs offer parents the relief of in-house services without the consequences of declining grades and increased absences.

Studies have repeatedly shown that students who participate in school-based mental health services are more mentally healthy. The Department of Health and Human Services indicates that “Mentally healthy students are more likely to go to school ready to learn, actively engage in school activities, have supportive and caring connections with adults and young people, use appropriate problem-solving skills, have nonaggressive behaviors, and add to positive school culture.” (2013).

Our school-based services include therapy and case management for those who qualify. Providers can also connect students with appropriate professionals for medication management, crisis intervention, drug and alcohol counseling, assessments, parent support, psychosocial rehabilitation group (SEKA), and more.

Beyond just supporting students, we are also supporting our communities. Our school-based services have allowed us a unique opportunity to defeat mental health stigmas in the counties we serve by creating conversations with those around us. We are building relationships with people in the community who are constantly advocating for the betterment of our youth. I am blessed to be able to serve alongside many other school-based providers in their efforts to end the silence and spread mental health awareness.

Angel Brazeal
Manager of Children’s Services
Anderson, Bourbon, and Linn Counties
Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center