Southeast Kansas Students Receive Mental Health Reminders

(IOLA, Kan.) – Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center (SEKMHC) recently distributed over 13,000 positive affirmation cards to K-12 students in 15 school districts in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. The cards include 50 individual messages that inspire resilience, boost self-esteem and promote a positive mindset.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the U.S. observes Mental Health Awareness Month in May by participating in activities dedicated to eradicating stigma, extending support, fostering public education and advocating for policies that prioritize the well-being of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

“We created these cards to serve as daily reminders for students that they are valued, loved, and capable of overcoming challenges,” explained Megan Hageman, manager of prevention and promotion. “Overall, we delivered the affirmation cards to 15 school districts where we offer school-based services in our region.”

Sample affirmations include: “Today, every idea I have is creative, thoughtful, and full of potential.” Also, “Today, I will know in my heart that I deserve love and respect.”

“Our goal was to help expand on a positive education environment and ensure they have access to these messages of encouragement throughout their school day,” said Hageman.

The cards were distributed in the following school districts:
• Woodson USD 366
• Iola USD 257
• Uniontown USD 235
• Garnett USD 365
• Humboldt USD 258
• Fort Scott USD 234
• Crest USD 479
• Chanute USD 413
• Prairie View USD 362
• Erie USD 101
• Marmaton USD 256
• Galesburg USD 101
• St. Paul USD 505
• Thayer USD 447
• Pleasanton USD 344

SEKMHC observed Mental Health Awareness month in a variety of other ways, including a kick-off video by CEO Nathan Fawson; sharing articles about mental health awareness written by SEKMHC and Ashley Clinic staff members with the Iola Register, the website blog page, and social media; creating “In my mental health era” t-shirts for employees and the public, designing a new, updated self-care guide with activities and resources for distribution to the public; developing a self-care video series that ran across all social media platforms; and engaging employees to share what they do for self-care.