Horizon Mental Health Center to Observe 50th Anniversary

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

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Written by: Mike Garrett, M. S., LCP Chief Executive Office of Horizons Mental Health Center

Fifty years ago Horizons Mental Health Center was established in an era when mental health issues were largely misunderstood.

The American Psychological Association defines mental health as the way our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect our lives. Good mental health leads to positive self-image and satisfying relationships with friends and others and is ma major component necessary for making daily decisions that impact our ability to be happy and successful.

In the late 1960s, two young physicians and concerned individuals in Hutchinson and Kingman knew there was a need for mental health services. Their efforts led to the establishment of the Kingman-Reno County Mental Health Center with a waiting list of 200 patients in Reno County alone. Word spread to neighboring counties resulting in Horizons agreeing to provide mental health services to Pratt in 1971, Anthony in 1973 and Medicine Lodge in 1975. In 1978, the mental health center was made an entity of Hutchinson Regional Medical Center and six years later underwent a name change to Horizons Mental Health Center.

Today, Horizons offers a wide range of programs and services including speakers on everything from challenges of foster children to how hearing loss can affect mental health. Other programs include Mental Health First Aid Training, a program to help people understand the early signs and symptoms of psychological problems, and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.

In 2017, almost 7,000 clients were treated at the five locations of Horizons Mental Health Center which is approximately 120,000 hours of services. An organization that started with a single employee today operates with a staff of nearly 200.

Horizons Mental Health Center is a south central Kansas success story and stands as a model to the nation for what is possible if a few good people seek long-term solutions to age-old problems.

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