Mental health concerns do not exist in a vacuum. A specific illness is nearly always caused - or exacerbated by - another. With 35 programs in and around south central Kansas, MHA is able to surround each of our consumers with the full range of mental health services they might need to not only address the symptoms, but the underlying root as well.
The Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas (MHA) is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1957 by Mental Health America, a national mental health education agency. When MHA began expanding into prevention, treatment, and social services, we became an affiliate chapter of the national organization.
Currently, MHA of South Central Kansas employs approximately 200 staff members, serving over 10,000 consumers each year through our five organizational divisions. Those divisions are: Children, Adults and Families, Seniors, Residential Services (housing), and Outpatient Counseling (at our Harry and Webb office).
In addition to being the largest non-profit provider of housing in Kansas, MHA is known widely for our consolidated outpatient counseling center, medication management office, and pharmacy, co-located at 9415 E. Harry, Ste. 800, in Wichita. Other notable programs include:
* Works for Success - A diversion program for fathers who are delinquent in their child support. Rather than being sent to jail, these fathers may be referred to MHA, where they undergo an intensive eight-hour/day, two week program which teaches parenting skills, job skills, social skills, and more. The fathers are given resume guidance, undergo mock interviews, group counseling, family integration services, and receive a new suit upon completion of the program. Fathers who successfully graduate have $2,500 of their delinquent child support waived by the state. MHA's success rate for fathers who go through our program is four times the state average for similar programs.
* School Prevention - As part of our Children's division, MHA places prevention specialists in 26 Wichita and Derby schools during the school year to directly address mental health concerns seen by teachers or parents. Our specialists spend time with the students, giving them the coping skills they need to deal with bullying, stress brought on by their studies, issues they may be facing at home, etc. In so doing, MHA is able to keep the mental health issues of today from becoming the mental illnesses of tomorrow.
* Senior Companions - Studies continue to demonstrate the significant affect that age-induced isolation can bring about on both quality of life and on longevity. The most recent data has quantified this affect as being similar to smoking 10 cigarettes/day! Our volunteers (age 55 and up) spend time with seniors who find it difficult to visit friends, get to the grocery store, or even make it to doctor's appointments. They may cook meals together, play games, or just visit. And the volunteers receive both an hourly stipend and are reimbursed for mileage expenses.
* Emporia House - Part of our Residential Services division, our 24-unit Emporia House represents just a small fraction of the nearly 300 housing units which MHA owns and manages around south central Kansas. However, to the homeless military veterans that it exclusively serves, Emporia House is crucial to their lives. Through a grant from the VA, the residents receive their meals at the house, and get free transportation to appointments at the Robert Dole VA Medical Center. The on-site staff helps to ensure the veterans are safe, and works with staff throughout MHA's full range of programs to provide the support our veterans need to find safe and permanent housing.