May is Mental Health awareness month and the past few years have been extremely difficult to navigate. It has never been more important to talk about stress and mental strain each one of us may be experiencing. Sustained higher levels of stress can lead to depression, anxiety, fatigue, and other triggers that cause a greater propensity for attempting suicide.
The perceived stigma of mental health can also make it difficult for people to feel that they can reach out for support. There are a number of helpful sources available for people in need and I will highlight those today.
• The National Suicide helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling or texting “988.” Support services are confidential and free of charge. This helpline is now a streamlined version of the suicide hotline and involves the ability to call and talk with someone, or text the number and use the text version if you do not want to talk.
• Local resources are also available. In the Great Bend area, the Center for Counseling and Consultation can be reached on their confidential crisis line 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-875-2544 or 620-792-2544 as well as at their website https://thecentergb.org. In the Hays area, High Plains Mental Health is there to help. Contact them at 785-628-2871 or on their crisis line 24/7 at 800-432-0333. Their website is https://hpmhc.com.
• K-State Research and Extension also has available resources. The Stress and Resiliency team are trained in several programs including: Mental Health First Aid, Michigan State Farm Stress Training, and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). The Team is available for on sight programs, contact them at https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/health/stress-management/trainings-programs.html, or by email torclews@ksu,.edu, [email protected], or [email protected].
• The Kansas Agriculture Mediations Services