Spotlight: Four County Mental Health Center
Four County Mental Health Center embraces May as Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a time to confront the stigma of mental illness by educating our communities about what mental health means, how it impacts children and adults, and how early intervention can transform the lives of those affected.
Across Kansas thousands of children, youth, and adults experience mental health problems every year. In Southeastern Kansas, Four County Mental Health Center provides a continuum of services, because wellness looks different for each person. Everyone needs something different, and Four County is there to help. Some of the many out-patient services we offer include therapy, medication management, case management services for youth and adults, after-school and summer psychosocial groups, parent education classes, supported employment, and 24-hour crisis services. In particular, the Early Childhood Block Grant, funded through the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund, allows the Center to target services to one of the state’s most vulnerable populations: children under the age of five and mothers, both prenatal and postpartum.
The early years of a child’s life are the most critical for healthy development, but traumatic events can negatively impact a child’s brain, affecting executive functioning, emotional regulation, and the ability to cope with stress. Without intervention, the effects can be life-long with repercussions for the family, the child, and the child’s future work and family-life. Support from caring, knowledgeable professionals can make a positive, lasting difference; and the earlier problems are identified and addressed, the better. Timely family case management and consultation services can decrease the need for services later in life, when untreated issues may have had time to compound. Four County Mental Health Center is proud to serve these children and their families.
As we enjoy longer hours of sunshine during Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s also shine a light on the good that comes from rejecting the stigma of mental illness, and identifying and supporting mental health needs as early as possible. By doing so, we will nurture healthier and happier children, families, and communities.
Tammy Blaich, MS, LCP, LCAC, IMH-E®II
Director of Community Based Services
Four County Mental Health Center