Healthy Outlook: Behavioral health event coming up, plus other health news and notes

Healthy Outlook

An upcoming event aims to update Douglas County residents on behavioral health initiatives that are underway.

“New Directions in Behavioral Health” is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 6 in the auditorium of the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.

Bob Tryanski, the county’s director of behavioral health projects, will share an overview and then moderate a panel discussion, according to a news release from the county. Some of the topics on the agenda are the Integrated Crisis Team at LMH Health, the county’s recently approved Peer Fellows Program, the recovery campus and housing projects and many more.

The panel will include representatives from Heartland Community Health Center, Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center (RADAC), DCCCA, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, LMH Health and the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, according to the release.

In addition, there’s a date set for the second Douglas County Behavioral Health Summit. That will be June 25 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 200 McDonald Drive. I’ll share more details about that (and how to register) when I get them, but according to a newsletter from the county, the summit will focus on prevention, covering topics such as suicide, opioids, marijuana, vaping and alcohol.

Emergency blood drive coming to library

The Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City is holding an emergency blood drive at the library this Tuesday, according to a news release from the organization.

Supplies are low because of low donations and an overall declining donor base in the region, according to the release. Reserves are well below the “safe” minimum of a seven-day inventory of all blood types.

The drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 at the library. Donors can make an appointment online at; enter group code TPU9.

About 1 in 7 hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion, according to the release.

Walk aims to raise awareness for maternal mental health

Build Your Village of Douglas County, a local nonprofit that aims to raise awareness about perinatal, pregnancy and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, will hold an annual awareness walk next Saturday.

The annual Climb Out of the Darkness walk will serve as a fundraiser — 75% of donations will stay with the local coalition and 25% will go to Postpartum Support International for national support and outreach, according to the event’s online page.

The activities are scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 4 at Hobbs Park, 702 E. 11th St. The awareness walk will start at 10:30 a.m., according to the event page.

The local support group meets on Thursdays at LMH Health. For more information and resources, visit or contact the group’s founder, Melissa Hoffman, at 785-550-6795.

Hoffman wrote in an email to the Journal-World that life changes around pregnancy make women more vulnerable to mental illness.

“Mental health care provides the necessary support to empower women to identify resources and personal capabilities,” she wrote. “This can enhance their resilience to difficult life circumstances and support them to nurture their children optimally.”

If you or someone you know is suffering, call PSI at 1-800-994-4773.

World Maternal Mental Health Day is Wednesday, and International Maternal Mental Health Week runs this Monday through Sunday, May 5.

About Healthy Outlook

Healthy Outlook is a column written by Journal-World reporter and Health section editor Mackenzie Clark, in hopes of helping readers make their lives a little bit happier, healthier and more active.

Have questions about the world of health and wellness in Lawrence, or a health story idea? Contact Mackenzie:

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