LiveWell's behavioral health professionals are working to shatter the silence around mental health

COLBY, Kan. – (Monday, November 6, 2021)



LiveWell Northwest Kansas is urging people to attend a free mental health community response forum from 7 to 8 p.m. on the evenings of Tuesday, Nov. 30, and Thursday, Dec. 16, at the Rawlins County Junior/Senior High School, 100 N. 8th Street, Atwood.


“Young people and adults alike face daily dilemmas as they navigate their way through school, work, family relationships, financial demands, and other stresses,” explains Behavioral Health Coordinator Kaitlyn Bebb of LiveWell Northwest Kansas, in Colby.


“Such issues as puberty, coping with social pressures, expectations from parents or other people of authority, can prove extremely stressful. And, given the rise in the development of mental health concerns in our region, we at LiveWell Northwest Kansas are working hard to educate people and facilitate proactive prevention in our schools and rural communities.”


Bebb explains how vitally important it is to talk freely about stresses, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.


“Mental health impacts everyone’s quality of life and can have a devastating trickle-down effect on ourselves and our family if steps aren’t taken to alleviate stresses and find steps to healthier ways of life.”


Bebb goes on to say that people oftentimes offer help when friends and family want to address nutrition and dieting or physical health. She says it’s important to stay physically healthy to ward of illness and disease. Alternatively, she says that although not maintaining mental health can have the same consequences, it isn’t talked about because of the negative stigma.


“Simply put, this has to change. We need to embrace open communication of mental health challenges,” she says. “There should be no shame in asking for help.”


During the community response forums in Atwood November 30 and December 16, information will be shared regarding what mental health is and discussions will provide people with tips for talking about emotions with friends, family and youth.


The forum will also share information about how to be supportive when someone experiences a mental health challenge. She says its important to listen and be non-judgmental without assuming there’s an underlying illness or condition.


“There are tools and treatments to respond, treat and manage mental health issues,” continues Bebb. “And, it’s my job and my passion to provide direction to help others before crisis arise. I’m here to help.”


The executive director of LiveWell, Travis Rickford, also said these first two meetings in Atwood are being planned as the first of hopefully many in the region.


“This being a pilot, we hope to build on lessons learned in Atwood so we can provide other meetings and community forums as continuing opportunities throughout the entire northwest region,” said Rickford.


Reservations to attend the meetings are not required. However, questions can be directed to Bebb at kaitlynb@nwksprevention.com.


Information about LiveWell can be found at www.LiveWellNWK.org.