By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Studies show that nearly half of all Americans dealing with mental health problems live their entire life without seeking treatment, but that is something one group in Kansas City is hoping to change.
And without treatment, serious mental illness can lead to unemployment, crime, incarceration, suicide or early death, doctors say.
Moreover, one in five Americans have some sort mental health issues - problems that could potentially lead to serious consequences if not treated. Those problems begin in people aged 14 to 24, according to doctors.
"I think if we take anything away from the Sandy Hook tragedy it should be that we educate more people about mental health," said Mark Wiebe, director of public affairs for Wyandot Inc, an organizations focused on addressing diverse needs of the community.
Wiebe said violence is a very complicated issue with several variables.
"But I do think these people that commit these horrible acts are very, very troubled," he said.
As part of President Barack Obama's pack to curb gun violence, he calls for more teachers to have mental health first-aid training.
"I think a lot of what this is about is normalizing mental health issues. If we can get kids early on talking about mental health, in time, people will just become more comfortable talking about mental health issues," Wiebe said.
The goal of Mental Health First Aid is to work both sides of the state line to get 1,300 new trained people this year.
The group admits it is a big goal, but they add recognizing the problem is the first step towards solving it.
"That is a pretty big goal. We have 6,000 trained across the state, so if we get 1,300 trained in greater Kansas City, we'll be on top," said Jermine Alberty, director of Mental Health First Aid training.
And a recent $75,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City helps.
The group is hoping that others will be interested in learning more. They are offering two training classes over the next two months.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 3:29 PM EDT2013-05-21 19:29:04 GMT
For months, concerns had been raised about the welfare of Lucas Webb. Born Jan. 3, 2008, Lucas knew much pain and suffering in his four short years. More >
State records released Monday show how Missouri social workers failed to adequately pursue allegations of abuse involving a preschooler. Lucas Webb, 4, would die five days after the state closed the abuse investigation.More >
Monday, May 20 2013 9:21 AM EDT2013-05-20 13:21:47 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - An Army wife who lost over 100 pounds while her husband was away in Afghanistan surprised the soldier Wednesday when he arrived at Wilmington International Airport. Misty Shaffer,More >
A soldier from Wilmington returns from Afghanistan to a big surprise: a new wife, a new house and a different child.More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:09 AM EDT2013-05-21 12:09:58 GMT
A popular Blue Springs preschool will soon have to shut its doors, leaving parents scrambling to find a new option for their children. The owner of J.L. Woodlands Preschool, located near Northwest R.D.More >
A popular Blue Springs preschool will soon have to shut its doors, leaving parents scrambling to find a new option for their children.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 8:09 PM EDT2013-05-22 00:09:40 GMT
KCTV5, KSMO, The Salvation Army and the American Children's Society are partnering together to deliver bottled water to tornado-ravaged areas of Oklahoma.Take 5 to Care: Helping Oklahoma launched at noonMore >
KCTV5, KSMO, The Salvation Army and the American Children's Society are partnering together to deliver bottled water to tornado-ravaged areas of Oklahoma.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:17 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:17:00 GMT
People affected by the massive tornado that killed at least 51 people and destroyed parts of Oklahoma still do not know where their loved ones are, but many of them are using social media to find out.More >
People affected by the massive tornado that killed at least 51 people and destroyed parts of Oklahoma still do not know where their loved ones are, but many are using social media to find out.More >