National Discussion on Addressing Mental Health Care, Salina, Kansas


Single, 2-hour event

Number of Participants: 


With what other organizations in your community did you partner when convening this conversation, if any?: 

National Alliance on Mental Illness - Kansas
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

What were the most important things you learned during the process of organizing the dialogue?: 

How does this affect me?

Recognize, listen, poverty affects. Need more resources for the community, always involved in field managing many, many years. If it is a negative no one wants to be mentally ill and looked at differently. Want resources to help people to treat with dignity, respect. Worked for years helping students understand. So many in need. Looking at more other things than Mental Health. Don’t take away rights. Support. Knowledge, education. Anxiety and depression in family are big issues. Taking drugs. Landlord, school teachers deal with these issues. To be a social worker pressure are put on social work. More cuts. We are more alone on our own. Economics drive situations. Media drives situation. What is needed vs. what is wanted? Some people are more easily influenced. Labeling. Front media page news. Start with younger age children. Not getting the treatment and services needed. Programs no longer available. Suggest counseling, parenting skills. Responsibilities now put on teacher. Education. Interpersonal skills. We lose sight of fact that mental illness =doesn’t discern. No boundaries.

What actions did you identify that your community can pursue to improve mental health, especially among young people?: 

  • Mini-circle- three people help the mental health patient for one year.
  • Returning veterans need support.
  • Women in jail and jail population are growing: need to address the mental health issue to slow down this trend.
  • Local NAMI group needs support.
  • Optimism. Values. Grassroots.
  • Programs to network into schools K-12.
  • Support the idea that general practitioners need to create relationships with counselors. Listen to their patients in order to help the whole person.
  • We go to a dentist yearly, why not go to a mental health counselor yearly. Suggest mental health screening.
  • One stop walk in voluntarily drop off by law enforcement or family member. Take officer off the road.
  • As a community develop early intervention where we could take anyone that was well skilled /equipped and some set of plans- then developed.
  • Not taking so long for professionals to see someone in need. Ex: 3-4 hours for someone to see a “professional” (patient primarily).
  • Would like to see a better understanding of what mental illness is.
  • Jails/prisons will still always need mental health professionals.
  • “Family issue”--treat all that are impacted. This is a common sense element.
  • Focus on “worst case scenario”. Forget to think about the other end of the spectrum depending on what you are constantly exposed to.
  • Stigma exists- we need to learn more.
  • Initially aligned to approach #2, but think of other options to help others along the spectrum. Bring three approaches together.
  • Surprised how relevant mental illness is.
  • Get to a point where we can predict if treatment will help a person or if it can’t and they need to be incarcerated.
  • Halfway houses or group homes as an alternative to incarceration.
  • More diversion
  • Treatment as an investment.
  • More crisis intervention and teaching.
  • More collaboration with mental health workers and city police and sheriff’s office.
  • Encourage businesses to participate in mental health as a first aid responder to reduce threatening of businesses.


Is there anything else you'd like to share about your conversation?: 


  • Human Dignity
  • Compassion
  • Self Determination
  • Trust
  • Safety for Everyone
  • Equality
  • Community Concern