Managing stress, anxiety, and other emotions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic is always challenging for vulnerable individuals in the Overland Park community.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in certain mental health calls to the Overland Park Police Department,” said Ward 6 Council Member Chris Newlin. “Young or old, throughout Overland Park, there appears to be an increasing number of citizens in need of access to professional mental health services.”
In the first four months of this year, the Overland Park Police Department has seen an increase in medical overdoses, suicide attempts, and mental disturbances compared with the same time frame in 2019.
“Wednesday evening a group of compassionate professionals and citizen advocates will convene the first of a series of meetings to consider methods to improve understanding of mental health issues and access for our Overland Park community,” said Newlin.
Newlin is serving as Chair of the 15-member Overland Park Mental Health Task Force. Task force members include mental health medical practitioners, legal and business community representatives, residents and staff members from Johnson County MED-ACT, Overland Park Police and Fire departments, and the City Manager’s Office.
“Launching the Mental Health Task Force shows our community that in times like this, the mental health of all residents and city staff is a priority,” Newlin said.
Wednesday’s online virtual meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.
In order to comply with state and county health protocols, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Wednesday’s meeting will be held virtually. See the meeting agenda for more information on how to access via video conference or phone.