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Thursday, April 18, 2024
1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT

Meeting Youth Where They Are: Prevention Programming to Support Mental Health

In this webinar, we will hear from the Mental Health America of South Central Kansas (MHASCK) Prevention Team on how they address youth mental health in Wichita, Kansas, to prevent serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbances. This team focuses on “wide net, low barrier” mental health education that engages young people in social-emotional learning, healthy coping skills, and substance use avoidance. They consider their approach a holistic attempt to equip students with basic understanding and tools to help them navigate the challenges they face at each stage of development.

With a staff of five, the MHASCK Prevention Team annually serves around 2,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade through multi-week programing at their schools, after-school clubs, parks and rec camps, and other community gathering points. Through grant funding, they offer these services at no cost to the sites or students they serve.

Attendees will be able to learn more about the specific curriculums used, the values-driven success the team has found, and ways to engage students in accessible and meaningful relationships. MHA South Central Kansas will explore how to build connections, what has worked and what hasn’t, and focus on practices that any caring person can use to help educate and equip young people in their mental health journey.

At the end of the webinar participants will have:

  • Received insight into the programming and curriculum they can use in their context
  • Ideas for building a team, making connections, and establishing a “wide net, low barrier” prevention initiative
  • Practical advice from professionals who spend their days in schools and at sites to reach students right where they are


Chris Gilmore (he/him) is the director of prevention at the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas and has been on the prevention team since 2018.

Lauren Gilley (she/her) is a prevention program facilitator for elementary students in the PATHS for Kids program with Mental Health America of South Central Kansas.

Patricia Joseph (she/her) is a dedicated advocate for youth well-being and mental health empowerment.

This is a SAMHSA sponsored webinar presented by Mental Health America. Live closed captioning and ASL interpreters will be available for this webinar.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelle Masten via email at or Paige Thomas at