As most of you know, Stewart and I have lived in Johnson County, Kansas for nearly 40 years. We raised our two daughters in one of the finest school districts in the county. Together, we founded a successful business in Corporate Woods which now employs 14 full-time professionals. After launching our company, I completed my doctorate at KU and served as assistant professor at Washburn University in Topeka, as research assistant professor at the Department of Family Medicine at KU Med Center, and as assistant dean of the Graduate School at the KU ~ Lawrence Campus. I continue to teach at KU and Johnson County Community College.
Life in Kansas has been good for us. That is, until it wasn’t.
In 2011, when our family faced a life-threatening mental health crisis, we couldn’t get the help that we needed. Access to information and support was confusing. Wait times for appointments and assessments were prohibitively long. Guidance was limited. That’s why I began a journey to advocate for better mental health care in Kansas.
Over the years, I have been actively engaged in communicating with my legislators about the ramifications of various bills being introduced during the legislative session. I’ve emailed them and called them when an important vote was coming up. I often drove to Topeka to meet with legislators face-to-face about mental health issues. But, they simply were not listening and funding for mental health in Kansas continued to decline.