Johnson County, KS Mental Health Center
24/7 Crisis Line: (913) 268-0156
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 988
Firearms are the most common method of death by suicide — accounting for half of all suicide deaths.
In an effort to reduce access to lethal suicide methods and to protect children in the home, Johnson County Mental Health Center and the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition now offer free gun locks for residents available across the county.
The program’s goal is to help reduce firearm accidents and misuse by creating a culture of firearm safety through continuous reinforcement of the importance of storing firearms responsibly when not in use.
Residents may pick up free gun locks at the Mental Health Center’s three main locations — 6000 Lamar Ave. in Mission, 1125 W. Spruce St. in Olathe and 6440 Nieman Road in Shawnee. Gun locks are also available in area police stations, hospitals and other community locations through partnership with Project ChildSafe.
Each year, the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition hosts an Annual Report-Out, allowing coalition participants and community members to get a sense of the ways the coalition has been active in fulfilling its mission. The report-out features a keynote presentation and the most up-to-date statistics on suicide loss in the community. The leadership team also reports on the progress of various initiatives, highlights the work of community partners, and shares an overview of the coalition's finances. The Annual Report-Out is an excellent opportunity for the community to gather and honor the work the coalition has done while casting a vision for the future.
The Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition has been exploring creative ways to outreach the community since its inception. The community outreach campaign has evolved into a sub-committee which meets monthly during the JoCo Suicide Prevention Coalition meetings. This sub-committee has a primary focus to connect with adults in the community who may benefit from suicide prevention outreach. We have developed community partnerships and supported educational and informational material with our partners. Some of our recent creative solutions include promoting the Johnson County Mental Health Center crisis line on playing cards, drink coasters, and alcoholic beverage containers. Our goal and focus continues to identify creative outreach approaches that will connect with adults who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide.
Sources of Strength is an evidence-based, upstream prevention program that employs a strength-based approach to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.
This strengths-based approach cultivates the identification, development, and utilization of eight protective factors, or Strengths. Ultimately, these eight Strengths empower individuals and communities to develop their own resilience to promote health and wellness in themselves and others. Our united goal is to create a healthy culture around early help-seeking behaviors and promote internalized strengths at the individual and community level.
Through a unique partnership with the coalition, community foundations and Johnson County School Districts, we can collectively bring connections, hope, help and strength to hundreds of students and educators throughout Johnson County.
For more information, check out the Sources of Strength KC Facebook, Instagram or You-Tube @sourcesofstrengthkc.
Zero Reasons Why (ZRW) is a community-wide mobilization effort to target and prevent teen suicide, through education and awareness efforts, which incorporates a teen-led story campaign. The target goal is to drive productive conversations centered on affirming there are zero reasons why suicide is an option. The ZRW campaign was originated by the Johnson County six public school districts, and most importantly, the strategic plan guides the community’s view of mental health being just as significant as someone’s physical health. Another important initiative is addressing systemic change across the county Mental Health Continuum of Care. There are three strategic pillars under this plan initiative including Building Community Support, Commitment to Education, and importantly, working together to Remove the Stigma. The goal is to aid the community in addressing these strategic initiatives to identify the most impactful actions to collectively disrupt the increase of teen suicide in our community and around the nation.
The Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition hosts an assortment of trainings to a variety of audiences in our community. Information provided includes local data and trends, new and emerging best practices and evidence-based programs to prevent suicide and support mental wellness. The coalition partners with local and national experts in fields such as public health, research, mental health, healthcare, education, first responders, faith community and social service providers to deliver content from a variety of perspectives to diverse audiences. Training’s provided help us address the three priority goals from the National Strategy of Suicide Prevention, which include 1) Implement research-informed communication efforts designed to prevent suicide by changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. 2) Provide training to community and clinical service providers on the prevention of suicide and related behaviors. 3) Promote suicide prevention as a core component of health care services.
Every three years, Johnson County goes through a Community Health Assessment Process (CHAP) which works to identify highest priorities and needs as voiced by our community members. The Community Health Assessment Process (CHAP) is a Johnson County community partnership, which collectively and systematically assesses the health status and needs of our community. The goal is to improve and/or maintain a high level of health for our citizenry.
One of the highest level of needs that was identified includes reducing the number of suicides with a goal of reaching zero.
Based on this overarching goal, the coalition identified three focus goals to work towards.
Goals for the CHAP
This process is reviewed every three years.
Up to $500 will be awarded to applicants with projects that focus on suicide prevention in Johnson County. The number of awards will vary, based on applications.
Applications will be considered on a monthly basis.