Mental Health Resources

When you or a loved one is experiencing mental illness, it can be incredibly frightening. Even more, seeking treatment can be difficult and burdensome when you have to navigate your insurance coverage and the many different types of treatment options available. Below is a list of mental health resources within the Kansas City metro as well as a list of common mental health terms that may be helpful as you identify your first steps in treatment.

Community Mental Health Centers – Mental Health KC:

DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)

Jewish Family Services

Kansas City Center for Anxiety Treatment (KCCAT)

Mental Health America of the Heartland

NAMI Johnson County

Partnership for Workplace Mental Health

Pathway To Hope

The Lilac Center

Suicide Awareness Survivor Support

Advent Health Shawnee Mission Behavioral Health 

If you are unsure where to begin, call the JFS Navigator at 913-327-8250

Mental Health Terms

Acute mental health
Acute mental illness is characterized by significant and distressing symptoms of a mental illness requiring immediate treatment.

A psychological need and reliance on either a substance or behavior, such as a drugs or sex.

Affective disorders
Also known as mood disorders. The main types of affective disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder.

Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is a general term which is used to describe the deterioration of mental functionality such as memory, language and judgement.

Anger management
Anger management is the process of learning to understand signs that you’re becoming angry and taking the necessary action to calm down and react appropriately.

Anorexia Nervosa
An eating disorder where individuals will starve themselves, often becoming dangerously thin. It is associated with immoderate restriction and irrational fear of gaining weight, alongside a distorted body self-perception.

Medication that is usually prescribed to treat psychosis. Sometimes they are used to treat other mental health conditions.

Anxiety is a broad term for many underlying disorders and phobias, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Art therapy
A form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication.

Assertive Outreach Team (AOT)
The team which may work with an individual outside of the hospital if they have found it difficult to engage with mental health services previously.

Attachment disorder
Attachment disorder is a mental and emotional condition brought on as a result of failure to form an appropriate bond with parents or guardians in early childhood. Children with attachment disorder have difficulty trusting others.

Autism and Asperger’s syndrome
Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) are both Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). They are best viewed, as are those people with these conditions, as appearing along a severity scale that runs from profound to very mild.

Bereavement, or grief, is a response to loss. While it is traditionally centered on emotional responses, it also includes physical, cognitive, behavioral and social elements.

Binge eating disorder (BED)
BED is an eating disorder characterized by overeating in binges, often when you are not hungry.

Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis describing a variety of mood disorders. This is defined by mood swings, from excessive energetic highs to depressive and extreme lows.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is where an individual becomes particularly self-conscious and believes that they have a problem with the appearance of a specific feature of their body.

Bulimia nervosa
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge-eating, often eating three or four times a normal amount. This is followed by self-induced vomiting or taking laxatives to try and avoid putting on weight.

Care coordinator
The care coordinator is the main point of contact and support if you require ongoing mental health care. Under the care program approach (CPA) they are responsible for carrying out an assessment to work out your health and social care requirements.

Care plan
A plan which details how you individuals will receive care. This should be done in collaboration with yourself and your therapist/consultant.

Care program approach (CPA)
CPA allows mental health professionals to assess a patient’s needs to be pulled together in on singular plan.

A Carer is anybody who looks after a person who they know that needs help because of their condition. In most cases, this is an unpaid voluntary position.

A clinician is somebody that provides care and treatment to patients, such as a Nurse, Psychiatrist or Psychologist.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) 
CBT is a structured, action-oriented and problem solving approach which helps people to manage their thoughts, behavior and mood more effectively.

Community mental health team (CMHT)
Community mental health teams offer continuous support or emergency intervention if necessary. This can include the input from several professionals including psychologists, nurses and social workers.

Community psychiatric nurse (CPN)
Registered nurses who are trained in mental health and can give long-term support to those living in the community.

Consultant psychiatrist
Consultant psychiatrists have the overall responsibility for diagnosing a mental health condition and prescribing treatment. Psychiatrists are qualified medical doctors who specialize in mental health conditions.

Psychiatric crisis describes the situation where a person with a mental illness or severe mental disorder experiences thoughts, feelings or behaviors which cause severe distress to him/her and those around him/her.

Dementia/early onset dementia
Dementia is a term to describe the deterioration of mental functionality, such as memory, language and judgement.

Depression is a normal emotion, which can lead to a very serious illness (often called major depression, clinical depression or depressive illness).

Early intervention
When the first stages of a mental health condition are spotted, beginning treatment as early as possible to aid recovery is called early intervention.

Gender dysphoria
Gender dysphoria is a recognized medical condition where you feel confused or distressed because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and your gender identity.

Group psychotherapy
Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy where a carefully selected group of individuals meet regularly with a therapist to help each other to discuss their individual struggles and ways to tackle them.

Someone who stays in hospital for a given amount of time to receive care and treatment.

A ward nurse who is responsible for implementing the care plan and often develops reports regarding your progress.

Manic episode
A manic episode is not a disorder in but rather is a part of a type of bipolar disorder. A manic episode is characterized by period of at least one week where an elevated, or unusually irritable mood, as well as notably persistent goal-directed activity is present.

Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA)
The legal act which governs the treatment of people with mental conditions in England and Wales.

Mental Health Tribunal
Independent bodies that make decisions on whether someone can be discharged from hospitals. Those involved in a mental health tribunal must look to protect the public, balance the freedom of the individual and consider what is best for the patient.

Multi-disciplinary team
A team of health and social care staff including nurses, psychologists, doctors and social workers.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)
ME is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). ME usually starts very suddenly and is accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD causes a person to have irrational thoughts known as ‘obsessions’. To try and deal with the anxiety associated with the obsession, repetitive actions or ‘compulsions’ are performed. Some people can only suffer from obsessions, whilst others suffer from a mixture of both obsessions and compulsions.

Occupational Therapists
Occupational Therapists help people of all ages who have physical, psychological or social problems. This could be help with shopping, brushing their teeth, or helping to assist with a person’s child care, professional development or attending social activities.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a psychiatric disorder. This is a disorder which is typically characterized by hostile behavior towards figures of authority – and of a far more severe nature than what can usually be expected from normal childhood behavior.

Someone who comes into hospital, or an equivalent site, for an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Panic attack
Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense anxiety which appear to have no obvious triggers or reasoning. They can happen when a person least expects it and can be very distressing and frightening for the sufferer.

Personality disorder
personality disorder is a mental health problem often characterized by rigid, structured, and repeated patterns of feeling, thinking and behavior. The inflexible nature of these patterns can cause serious personal and social difficulties for the person and also those close to them.

Phobias are characterized by feelings of fear or anxiety triggered by particular situations or objects.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that may be suffered if you experience or are witness to a life-threatening event or a particularly traumatic occurrence. PTSD is a condition which can affect both men and women, regardless of their age.

Postnatal depression (PND)
Postnatal depression affects around 10% of mothers. This is much more serious than the period post birth known as ‘baby blues’ which usually lasts between one to three days. PND can develop slowly and may not be noticeable until several weeks after the baby’s birth, or may continue on from the baby blues period.

Schizophrenia is a name that defines a group of mental illnesses with several shared symptoms. Schizophrenia usually affects people for the first time when they reach early adulthood – from their late teens to early thirties. It is equally common in men and women, with the nature of the illness varying greatly between each person affected.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Many people can experience low periods during the autumn and winter months which coincides with daylight hours becoming shorter. However, for some people, these feelings can develop into seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that affects people due to reduced daylight.

Self-harm, which is also referred to as self-injury, occurs when an individual inflicts injury upon themselves to help them deal with stressful situations or periods of angst. The most common form of self-harming involves the cutting of skin on arms, legs and abdominal area.

Service user
A person who uses mental health services. They can also be referred to as clients or patients.

Sleep disorders
Sleep disorders (insomnia) are clinically defined as the ‘inability to initiate or maintain sleep or to obtain good sleep quality despite adequate opportunity to do so, accompanied by significant daytime consequences of poor sleep’ (American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2005). It’s worth noting that insomnia is highly subjective and individual sleep requirements vary considerably.

Somatoform disorder
Somatoform disorder is a syndrome of multiple, and recurring symptoms that are medically unexplained. These occur over a prolonged period of time, in which emotional distress is often experienced through physical symptoms which are known as somatization.

Social worker
A professional who can help to assist with practical aspects of life and may have had training in providing psychological assistance. Social workers work collaboratively with various organizations, such as local authorities and the NHS, who provide support.

Stress can be defined as the way you feel when you’re under extensive pressure. Many situations can cause stress including relationships, work demands, financial worries and so on.

Trauma is a term which is often used in the context of major physical damage to the body or in connection with significant psychological events that can lead to symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Examples of PTSD can include car crashes or life-threatening events.