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September is Suicide Awareness Month

Have you or anyone you know experienced any the following signs or symptoms:

Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
Talking about being a burden to others.
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
Sleeping too little or too much.
Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
Displaying extreme mood swings.
Preoccupation with death.
Suddenly happier, calmer after a period of depression
Loss of interest in things one cares about.
Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.
Giving things away, such as prized possessions.


For individuals experiencing any of these symptoms or signs, you can contact KANZA Mental Health and Guidance Center for further support and guidance at 785-742-7113.

Kailey Patton appointed Clinical Director

With the retirement of Margi Ross, Kailey Patton was appointed Clinical Director on May 1st 2018.

Kailey Patton, LCMFT, LCAC, has been employed at KANZA since April of 2015. Prior to being Clinical Director, Kailey was a therapist with KANZA for three years providing services to individuals, families, and couples.

KANZA Celebrates 54 Years of Service

KANZA Mental Health and Guidance Center, Inc. celebrated its 54th annual meeting October 26th at the Klinefelter Farm and Barn, Hiawatha, Kansas with nearly 90 staff, board and county commissioners, enjoying an excellent meal along with recognizing several staff for years of service.  Department leaders highlighted their department’s accomplishment of the Center’s mission to “Offer Hope for a Healthier Tomorrow.”   Dr. Micaela Wexler, DO, Medical Director, shared some of her life experiences leading to her decision to become a psychiatrist and spoke about the importance of mental health services to experience a healthier life.

The Center recognized Kent Saylor, Nemaha County Board member from both boards, for his 28 years of service.  During his all of his tenure Kent has served as secretary/treasurer and helped found the KANZA Mental Health Foundation that is currently raising funds to renovation the Moser Building in Holton, Kansas as the single site for mental health services in Jackson County. He also serves as president of the Foundation Board.  “It was a wonderful evening and Kent Saylor received a standing ‘O’ for his contributions to KANZA,” shared David Elsbury, CEO.

Youth Mental Health at School

August is back-to-school month, and we all know what that means. The new school year means new clothes, shoes, school supplies and more. But part of preparing to go back to school, whether as a student or teacher, also means taking care of your mental health and well-being.

During the transition back into the school year, students and teachers alike can face a variety of mental health challenges, so knowing how to recognize and provide assistance tailored to the individual’s needs is important.




Northeast Kansas County Comissioners declare May Mental Health Month.

David Elsbury, CEO of Kanza Mental Health and Guidance Center presented Brown, Doniphan, Nemaha and Jackson County commissions with a proclamation for Mental Health Month.  The signed proclamation declares the importance of mental health awareness in communities and how everyone plays a vital part in mental health success.  This year’s theme for Mental Health month is Risky Business – a call to educate our communities about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating a mental illness.

Brown County Commission; Pictured left to right David Elsbury, Kanza CEO, County Commissioner Dwight Kruse, Steve Roberts, and Keith Olsen

Doniphan County Commission; Pictured left to right Jerry McKernan, Tim Collins, Thad Geiger, and Kanza CEO, David Elsbury

Jackson County Commission; Pictured left to right Commissioner  William Elmer, Rob Ladner, Kanza CEO, David Elsbury and Commissioner Janet Zwonitzer

Nemaha County Commission. Pictured left to right:  County Commissioner Tim Burdiek, Dennis Henry, Kanza CEO David Elsbury, and Commissioner Gary Scoby.

May is Mental Health Month

Would You Know When You’ve Gone Too Far?


Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. But people experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently—and some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem.

Sometimes people struggling with mental health develop habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or could be signs of mental health problems themselves.

Activities like compulsive sex, recreational drug use, obsessive internet use, excessive spending, or disordered exercise patterns can all be behaviors that can disrupt someone’s mental health and destructive relationships potentially lead them down a path towards crisis.

This May is Mental Health Month; Kanza Mental Health and Guidance Center is raising awareness of Risky Business. The campaign is meant to educate and inform individuals dealing with a mental health concern understand that some behaviors and habits can be detrimental to recovery but that seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of.

We need to speak up early and educate people about risky behavior and its connection to mental illness—and do so in a compassionate, judgment-free way. When we engage in prevention and early identification and provide treatment,, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness. So, let’s talk about what is and is not risky business

To take the quiz:


January 2017


Kanza Mental Health Foundation and Kanza Mental Health and Guidance Center, Inc. received a $15,000 donation on Dec. 21 from Denison State Bank in Holton. Presenting the check that day to CEO David Elsbury were Jim Birkbeck, chairman of the DSB board of directors, and the directors attending their monthly meeting. The donation was given as part of the Foundation’s 2016 fundraising campaign, which is an annual event in its four-county service area and builds on the 2015 campaign to raise funds to support the renovation of the Moser Building located at 510 Kansas Ave. in Holton, which once housed the Holton Community Hospital.

This campaign’s success is inspired by the generous match pledge by an anonymous donor that has promised to match each dollar raised with $2.00 when the goal of $50,000 is reached. Jim Birkbeck and the Bank Board provided their gift to assist Kanza to reach this goal and ultimately help the Kanza Mental Health Foundation raise the $150,000 that is possible this year.

David Elsbury, Kanza’s CEO since 2006, explained to the Board the Center’s plans to renovate the Moser Building to house the Center’s services for Jackson County and to grow the services to better meet the mental health needs of the community. In 2016 Kanza, working with the Jackson County Commission, submitted a community development block grant that will provide nearly 50 % of the renovation costs and is raising funds locally to also support the project.  Kanza has been serving the area since 1963 as its licensed community mental health center providing a wide range of mental health services.