Blog Posts By: Mark Wiebe

Trauma-informed courts work to keep people in treatment, out of justice system

March 15, 2018

Courtrooms are no strangers to trauma. This includes the trauma many defendants experience throughout their lives, and the trauma they experience in court as they stand before a judge. In Wyandotte County District Court, these realities are beginning to inform the work judges do when encountering defendants who live with behavioral health challenges. Call them […]

1,200 Kansas Citians Trained in Mental Health First Aid

March 12, 2015

Last week, more than 180 people participated in the area’s second Mental Health First Aid ‘Day.’ Organized by the Metropolitan Council of Community Mental Health Centers (MetroCouncil), the event took place at five sites in the Kansas City region, including four courses offered at Penn Valley Community College. Thanks to grants from the Health Care […]

Poverty, Depression Compound Challenges Facing Mothers with Infants

January 6, 2015

Usually, I write about the impact mental illness has on the broader society or on the lives of individuals living with a mental illness. But the other day I came across a 3-year-old study that caused me to think about the impact one kind of mental illness, severe depression, has on the children whose parents […]

Training Saves Lives, Offers Hope

July 30, 2014

Hang around a mental health advocate long enough, and you’re likely to hear the phrase “early intervention.” This is shorthand for the simple concept that the sooner you can treat someone’s mental health issues the better chance that person has of recovery. Just as you want to clean an open wound as soon as possible, […]

Free Mental Health First Aid Training Offered

June 2, 2014

On July 10, the Metropolitan Council of Community Mental Health Centers will host a Mental Health First Aid ‘Day.’ This first-ever opportunity for the Kansas City area will be offered at no cost to the public thanks to funding from the Health Care Foundation and the Jackson County Community Mental Health Fund. Our aim is […]

On Mental Health and Poverty: The New Rainbow to Offer ‘Port of Calm,’ ‘Port of Access’

February 18, 2014

In Sunday’s New York Times, a headline on the op/ed page underscored one of the central challenges in mental health and criminal justice circles: How do we reduce the number of people with mental illness in our jails and prisons? The column, “Inside a Mental Health Hospital Called Jail,” profiles Cook County Jail in Chicago, […]

On Mental Health and Poverty: Suicide Prevention ‘Everyone’s Business’

November 14, 2013

When I was a young teenager, a friend of mine lost his mother to suicide. I didn’t know her well, mostly through the carpool our mothers participated in. But I do remember she always seemed upbeat and chatty, and that she whistled a lot as she drove us to and from school. I’m ashamed to […]

On Mental Health and Poverty: Replacing Fear with Understanding

December 27, 2012

“Why does it always take a tragedy for people to show an interest in mental health?” That’s the question a colleague posed earlier this week when a television reporter arrived to interview our CEO, Pete Zevenbergen, about the shooting in Newtown, Conn. — an act so senseless and horrific that it has left the nation […]

Recent Tragedy in Kansas City Prompts Need for Mental Health Awareness

December 5, 2012

High-profile tragedies, such as the murder-suicide that occurred in Kansas City Saturday, often bring with them a great deal of conversation and speculation about what might have caused the perpetrator of the crime to do such a thing. So it has been in the days since Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher shot and killed […]

Thinking Outside the Silo: Collaborative Discussion on Criminal Justice, Mental Health Systems

October 10, 2012

Most of us never have to worry about having a warrant out for our arrest. But if we do forget to pay that traffic fine, the warrant we get in the mail usually grabs our attention. Message received. Fine paid. For those with a serious mental illness, the issue isn’t that simple. Although most do […]

On Mental Health and Poverty: CIT Training a Great Start; Building on Community Partnerships

February 10, 2012

The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent, do not hang out on street corners talking to themselves or make belligerent demands on passersby. But there are times, especially when a person with mental illness is not receiving treatment, that behaviors like these get the attention of police. Talk to the parent […]

Protecting Kansas Voters Rights

October 18, 2010

On November 2nd, Kansas voters will have an opportunity to protect the voting rights of people with mental illness. It’s hard to believe, but the state’s Constitution actually threatens those rights. An arcane provision created 36 years ago gives the Legislature the authority to prevent someone with a mental illness from voting. The only other […]

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