By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mental health care help is available
Alicia Boor
Alicia Boor

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 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

• 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, or by email torclews@ksu,.edu,, or

• The Kansas Agriculture Mediations Services are ready to assist. They will gather your information and can connect you with financial advisors, legal advice, lawyers, and can also put you in contact with metal health facilities closer to your location. One call can get you in touch with many that can help your unique situation. They can be reached at 800-321-3276.

In closing, be sure to watch out for your friends and family. If you feel like something is wrong, ask. Help them get the help they need. And remember it is beneficial to implement daily coping strategies. Try taking a walk, get a message, or try guided restful breathing practices. Other coping suggestions to try, listen to music or just take ten minutes to write down your blessings. Positive thoughts and practices can go a long way to improve an outlook on life. But, mostly if you need help, please seek it. Your friends and family need you.

Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her by email at or call 620-793-1910.