Sunflower partners with NAMI Kansas to educate families on mental health

Sunflower partners with NAMI Kansas to educate families on mental health

Lenexa, KS – Sunflower Health Plan (Sunflower) is partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Kansas to help increase access to educational resources for family members and supporters of those living with mental illness.

Through the partnership, Sunflower will support NAMI's Family-to-Family, a free, eight-session educational program for families, significant others, and friends of people with mental health conditions and Family Support Groups, peer-led support groups for adults with loved ones experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. The groups allow family members to share their experiences and gain insight from the challenges and successes of others facing similar situations.

Approximately 50 percent of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24. Families can recognize the signs early on with the help of this type of trainings.

"During the first year of the pandemic, prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by an alarming 25 percent," said Michael Stephens, Sunflower president & CEO. "Partnering with organizations like NAMI Kansas helps Sunflower increase access to needed programs and resources for our members, their families and local communities. Addressing mental health conditions can help them live better, healthier lives"

NAMI Kansas conducts training for new leaders and teachers so they can deliver these valuable programs in their communities or online. Sunflower's sponsorship will help fund these trainings.

In addition to the state training support, Sunflower is funding Zoom accounts for each of the 13 NAMI Kansas affiliates to leverage the online platform for additional services, programs, and groups across the state.

"We are honored to partner with Sunflower to provide life-saving services to family members and friends who have loved ones experiencing mental illness," said Sherrie Vaughn, executive director of NAMI Kansas. "Through these collaborative efforts, our peer-led programs provide families and friends with cost-free education, skills training, and support that increase their own understanding of mental health conditions, while enabling them to develop strong and empowering coping and advocacy skills. Together, we aim to increase the number of program leaders and number of services offered across the state to raise awareness, increase access to care, and save lives."

Upcoming teacher training opportunities can be found on the NAMI Kansas calendar.

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