Tri-County Mental Health Services offering behavioral health services for the Kansas City Northland community. Prevention, assessment and treatment services for individuals and families throughout Clay, Platte and Ray counties of Missouri.


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Tri-County Mental Health Services Adds New Suicide Prevention and Intervention Specialists

Kelsey Prather

Catherine Blanch

Two mental health specialists have been named to the staff of Tri-County Mental Health Services (TCMHS).

The positions are the result of a federally funded state grant awarded to provide needed funding to afford focused attention on the issue of teen suicide. The federally funded state grant provided funding to the Northland counties of Clay, Platte and Ray, as well as the metro area counties of Jackson and Cass.

Kelsey Prather has been named Youth Suicide Prevention Specialist. Her work will focus on the reduction of risk factors that contribute to depression, anxiety and suicide through educational programs on various mental health topics designed for schools and the community at large.

In addition, Prather will assist in the development and implementation of a social marketing campaign on coping skills for community coalitions, and facilitate SOS (Signs of Suicide) and Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings for educators and others working with young people.

Prather is a graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in Family Studies and Human Services, and a minor in Conflict Analysis and Trauma Studies.

While attending college, Prather interned with Mental Health America of Colorado in their suicide prevention program.

“I am extremely passionate about mental health awareness and suicide prevention, especially educating our youth and communities on the importance of mental health wellness,” Prather said.

Prather joined the TCMHS Prevention staff as a Youth Prevention Specialist in 2016, serving as the coordinator for Youth With Vision, the youth advisory council of the Northland Coalition. She will continue in that role during the transition period of the hiring and training of a new Youth Prevention Specialist.

TCMHS has also named mental health professional Catherine Blanch to intervene directly with young people from 10-years to 24-years of age who are experiencing suicidal ideation.

Blanch earned a Master of Social Work degree from Park University. Her background includes program design, support services, therapeutic intervention and community education.

Prior to joining the TCMHS staff, she worked with the Synergy Services Permanent Housing Program and Kim Wilson Housing, a division of Wyandot Inc.

“I look forward to working with Kelsey. As a team, we can address the full spectrum of suicide – from prevention to intervention to help young people learn ways to cope and handle stress and trauma and, hopefully, live happier, more fulfilled lives,” Blanch said.

For further information about TCMHS youth suicide prevention resources, contact Prather at (816) 877-0496 or kelseyp@tri-countymhs.org or Blanch at (816) 965-1016 or catherineb@tri-countymhs.org.

24-Hour Emergency Crisis Line 1-888-279-8188 (TTY or Voice: 1-800-380-3323)

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