Vol. 1, Issue 6                                     June 2019
Mental Health - Community Collaboration 
In early June I had an opportunity to take a quick trip down to San Antonio. It was one of the most eye opening trips I’ve ever experienced. During my short time in Texas, I toured The Center for Health Care Services , The Restoration Center , and Haven for Hope . Leon Evans, founder of this incredible place, describes his work as a “17 year overnight success."

I only spent about an hour with Leon but boy was it a good one. He described this idea all started because he wanted to find a better way to help people with mental illness. 

The Restoration Center opened in 2008 with one goal in mind, keep people with mental illness out of jails. What started almost 2 decades ago has now grown into a hub of services where hope and healing begins. This campus is a place where people can receive psychiatric care, substance use services, general health care, and transitional housing. Utilizing motivational engagement, multiple admissions are never viewed as a failure and patients are treated with dignity and respect, whether they arrive for the first time or the hundredth time.

Since its creation, The Restoration Center has diverted tens of thousands of Bexar County residents into treatment programs with more than 60,000 individual contacts, saving taxpayers more than $50 million dollars.

Imagine if the 70 percent of people in the Sedgwick County Jail who have a mental health issue were receiving rehabilitation instead of punishment? Imagine if we were only putting those who truly needed to be in jail in jail? 

We are going to get there. There are things happening here. Great things in fact. 

Last week professionals from all sectors of this community gathered in a room to discuss the future of working together to create our own little version of San Antonio. The work is already being done in our community but could we care for our community better by working together? Can we break down our silos and eliminate egos to create a unified vision for the “Wichita Way” continuum of care for behavioral health, addiction services and homelessness? 

The energy in the room and the willingness to collaborate really shows how invested leaders are in this community. Makes me incredibly inspired to know people are so eager to find a solution because mental health affects every single one of us. 

Pictured in the photo: Jennifer Wilson, Behavioral Health Community Collaborator, Leon Evans, Principal Founder of The Restoration Center, Wendy S. Hummell, Substance Abuse Coordinator
Mom Moment - Thoughts Aren’t Facts   
The other day I came across a Forbes magazine article where Dr. Lauren Hazzouri talked about self confidence in girls. Particularly Gen Z girls. Though 7 years apart, both of my daughters fall in this category, so naturally it peaked my interest.

A few things really shocked me during my read. I’m sad to have learned that “ 70 percent of girls have low self-esteem, 30 percent experience anxiety and/or depression, and a reported 23 percent of high school girls have seriously considered suicide. Girls are diagnosed at twice the rate of boys, and 80 percent of those who would benefit from treatment don’t get it for various reasons including fear and shame, lack of insight, limited awareness, feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, unavailability and financial hardships.” 

Ok. WTF. That terrifies me. I literally stopped and put my head in my hands and thought, do my daughters think this? Are they sad and depressed? Ohmygoodness. I need to get on top of this. Because no mom *in the history of moming* ever thinks they are doing good enough. There is always something we could be doing or not doing or doing better. I’m constantly comparing myself to other moms. Like, dang, she cooks every single night and really, she makes, from scratch, spectacular birthday parties? How do these women have so much energy? 

And then it hits me, my inner voice needs to take a hike. This pressure I put on myself is unnecessary. “Thoughts are not fact,” so why am I making them so? And if I’m doing this, are my daughters doing it too? 

One thing is absolutely certain, I am so grateful I am not growing up today. This world we live in now, society as a whole, fuels self-destructive thoughts. Especially if you let them in. Social media is not an accurate depiction of life, yet it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to forget that most of the time we are looking and comparing ourselves to a skewed version of reality that people want us to see. 

Since discovering this article, I have poured over the website Not Therapy . Those who know me, know that I’m most generally a happy person, but I am just like the rest of the world and have moments where I think the glass is more than half empty. I’ve been trying to educate my girls about why they feel what they feel. One thing I’ve learned and am trying to share with my daughters is to “ teach them how to feel and ultimately be better. To empower them to change the standard and replace it with one that values inclusivity, intersectionality, and equality.” 

Far too often are we looking at others as competition, we compare ourselves to the point of depression and anxiety but if we change how we feel about others say from … competition to inspiration ... we could just change the world. 
County Spotlight - Sorting out Race
If you haven’t been to The Kansas African American Museum , you need to go. Currently showing an exhibit called Sorting Out Race this museum offers a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives, and how it helped us shape this nation.

Showing until August 21, Sorting Out Race shows how everyday thrift stores across America receive donations of objects that display racial imagery—antique advertising cards, collectible salt-and-pepper shakers, vintage children’s books, and mugs with sports team mascots. Are these objects harmless reminders of historical attitudes or do they continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes about race? Should thrift stores sell these objects? Or should they be “sorted out” of the resale environment and discarded?

Sorting Out Race was an original exhibit concept by Leia Lawrence and arose out of a desire to divert artifacts with racial content from thrift stores to an exhibit that would generate a healthy community conversation about racial stereotypes past and present in order to heighten awareness of our continuing struggles with race.
Sorting out Race: Examining Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations on display until Aug 1, 2019
Stay Safe over the July 4 Holiday
In order to ensure everyone has a safe holiday, residents should be aware of regulations on fireworks sales and discharges in Sedgwick County municipalities and unincorporated areas. This information is available at www.sedgwickcounty.org/fire .

Sedgwick County Fire District 1 urges residents to stay safe over the holiday with the following tips:
  • Small children should not handle fireworks; even sparklers can be harmful if mishandled.
  • Older children and young adults should be monitored by an adult when handling fireworks.
  • Follow the directions on the packages closely.
  • Always keep a bucket of water or a water hose nearby.
  • Keep fireworks away from dry grass, hay, trees, and all structures.
  • Try to light fireworks on gravel, concrete, or a hard surface that will not ignite.

Watch a brief video related to firework safety here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e5ddbFitjI
Brad Crisp Named Deputy County Fire Chief: Will Lead a Consolidation Feasibility Review
The Governing Body of Fire District 1 voted Wednesday, June 19 to hire veteran firefighter Brad Crisp as Deputy Fire Chief for Sedgwick County Fire District 1 (SCFD1). Crisp retired in March as Deputy Chief of Support Services after a 30-year career with the Wichita Fire Department (WFD). In his new role, Crisp will lead a review of County fire services and he will review the feasibility of consolidation between Fire District 1 and the WFD.

Crisp will report to Fire Chief Doug Williams. He will work on consolidation matters with Williams and WFD Chief Tammy Snow. Williams and Snow are currently pursuing functional consolidation, specifically training for recruits, current employees, and specialty units. 

City and County officials have discussed and analyzed consolidation for the past several years, holding a joint workshop last year with area fire service agencies. Crisp’s hiring is a significant step in a review process that may lead to consolidation. 

With WFD, Crisp also served as Safety/Training Officer and Fire Marshal. He has a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Wichita State University (WSU). Crisp holds certifications through the National Association of Fire Investigators as a Fire and Explosion Investigator (NAFI/CFEI) and through the International Association of Arson Investigators as an IAAI/CFI. He has served on several boards including the Board of Directors for the Kansas Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators. 

Crisp started his County job Monday, June 24. 
Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes this Summer
Fight the bite this summer and protect yourself against mosquitoes. Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) suggests following the three D's to avoid mosquito bites this summer. Drain  standing water; the insects breed in standing water. Use mosquito dunks or mosquito-eating fish in ponds and stagnant water. Use insect repellent that contains  DEET ; this offers the best protection against mosquito bites.  Dress  appropriately: wear loose-fitting clothing when outdoors, especially at dawn or dusk when the insects are most active.
Mosquitoes can cause serious health problems and spread diseases like West Nile Virus (WNV) to humans and animals. For more information about WNV and mosquito bite prevention, contact the Health Department at (316) 660-7300 or visit www.sedgwickcounty.org
Keep your Pets Cool this Summer
Don’t forget about your pets this summer! Follow these recommendations to keep your pets cool and safe during the hot summer days:
  • Exercise with your dog at dusk and dawn
  • Make sure they have a constant source of fresh water
  • Provide shade or shelter to keep your pet cool
County's 2020 Budget to be Discussed in July
Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz is scheduled to present his recommended budget for 2020 during the Board of County Commissioner’s meeting Wednesday, July 17. Sedgwick County’s 2019 Adopted Budget of $439,530,621 focuses on its key priorities (Safe and Secure Communities, Public Services and Cultural Experiences, Effective Government Organization, and Communications and Engagement).

There will be a public hearing during the Board of County Commissioners regular meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24. An evening public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, August 5. Both hearings will be held in the Commission meeting room, 525 N. Main, third floor. An online public forum will be open for residents as well at www.sedgwickcounty.org. Commissioners are slated to adopt a 2020 budget Wednesday, August 7. 
Wind and Solar Energy Operations Continue to be Discussed
The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) voted Thursday, June 6 to allow solar energy systems and prohibit commercial wind energy operations in Sedgwick County while allowing solar energy operations. The board sent recommended revisions to the Metropolitan Area Planning Department (MAPD) for the zoning code. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will consider extending the moratorium in mid-July. 

Earlier this year, Commissioners approved a Resolution establishing a temporary prohibition of wind and solar energy zoning applications. The current moratorium temporarily prohibits the acceptance and processing of an application for a commercial wind or solar energy system until August 12, 2019. Commissioners held a public forum related to this land use topic in March. 
Recognizing Training Center Founders
Commissioners and County leaders attended a memorial honoring fallen local law enforcement officers on Friday, May 17. This year, Sedgwick County Deputy Robert Kunze, III was given special consideration.  

The memorial honored fallen officers from the following agencies: Wichita Police Department, Sedgwick County Sheriff, Clearwater, Kansas Police Department, and Derby Police Department
Report Nuisances through the Non-emergency Line
The Sedgwick County Courthouse and Sedgwick County offices will be closed Thursday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Emergency services are available by dialing or texting 9-1-1.

The Sedgwick County Emergency Communications’ non-emergency phone line, 
316-290-1011, will be available during the following hours: 
  • 6 p.m. July 1 through 2:30 a.m. July 2
  • 6 p.m. July 2 through 2:30 a.m. July 3
  • 6 p.m. July 3 through 2:30 a.m. July 4
  • 6 p.m. July 4 through 2:30 a.m. July 5
  • 6 p.m. July 6 through 2:30 a.m. July 7

This line functions as an alternative to 9-1-1 and is meant to receive calls for non-emergency nuisances that do not pose a threat to life or property; examples include complaints pertaining to parties, excess noise, fireworks, etc. It was established to prevent an influx of nuisance calls that can block emergency calls from reaching a call taker; the non-emergency line is activated during times of historically high call volumes and as otherwise needed. If someone calls 9-1-1 with a non-emergency, he or she will be transferred to the non-emergency line.
As the top outdoor family attraction in the State, the mission of the Sedgwick County Zoo is to inspire discovery, appreciation, and respect for animals and nature. It is home to 3,000 animals and nearly 400 species. The Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit is the third largest elephant habitat in the United States. 
Exploration Place, Kansas’ premier science center, inspires a deeper interest in science through creative and fun experiences for people of all ages. Through its permanent and travelling exhibits, education programs, Digital Dome Theater films and special events, visitors can enjoy learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  
The Kansas African American Museum endeavors to make the Kansas African American experience resonate with EVERY Kansan. Located in the venerable Calvary Baptist Church, visitors may expand their knowledge and understanding of the Kansas African American story. 
Residents and visitors can gain an understanding of our community and cultural heritage at the Wichita – Sedgwick County Historical Museum. By collecting, preserving, and interpreting materials which reflect the area’s heritage visitors can experience different facets that shaped the community we live in today.  

525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203