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Barton Co. has "highest percentage of substance-affected infants in Kansas"
Rise Up Central Kansas is a task force under the Central Kansas Partnership with the mission of growing a resilient community for all through healing, hope and understanding.
Amy Ferguson RiseUp Jan 23, '24
Amy Ferguson presents in front of the Barton County Commissioners giving an update and explaining the importance of RiseUp in Barton County.

The Barton County Commissioners heard a Rise up Central Kansas program update from Program Coordinator Amy Ferguson, Tuesday Jan 23, at the public meeting.

Ferguson gave some insight in to what her program does within the community and why the work is important.

“We use peer navigators, who are people in recovery, employees actually, from substance use to provide support." 

“We want to use the community that has ‘been there’ to be able to help the community that’s there now. Our peer navigators know how to access recovery resources, and they understand the built-in struggles.”

She explained that sometimes individuals struggling with substance abuse have difficulty asking for or seeking help.

“Because sometimes we just have those things inside us that tell us that we won’t or we can’t do it. We don’t know how to get there. We don’t know how to get to treatment. Those are all things that we struggle with. And it can keep us from getting the resources that are needed. And these are the people that have been there and done it and can help them navigate some of the barriers. I like to look at it like peer navigators are either planting a seed or watering a seed of recovery,” she said.

“This type of support is crucial today because our region, according to DCF (Department for Children and Families), has the highest percentage of substance-affected infants in Kansas. And we’re the third highest in caregivers affected by substance use compared to the rest of the state,” Ferguson explained.