For Immediate Release: September 14, 2023
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PROGRAM PROVIDES MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUTH
KANSAS CITY, MO. (September 14, 2023) — The Kansas City Current and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) held the “Sideline the Stigma” event for the second year on August 26, in partnership with Synergy Services. This effort focused on promoting actionable and practical resources to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and giving support to all Kansas Citians.
The event provided youth with the opportunity to participate in various workshops about movement, music, art and have a conversation about mental health. Kansas City Current players Desiree Scott and Jordan Silkowitz joined the event to talk about removing the stigma around mental health challenges.
“Sideline the Stigma is one of our most important initiatives as an organization,” said Kansas City Current team president Allison Howard. “Mental and behavioral health impact everything we do, from the performance of our team on the field to the wellbeing of our friends, our family and our fans. We are incredibly fortunate to work alongside Blue KC and Synergy Services to spread the word and provide resources to anyone struggling in our community.”
“What an honor to partner with the KC Current to support the critical work that Synergy Services performs for young people and help children, teens and adults in our Kansas City area community learn how to talk about mental health,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Sideline the Stigma provides an important opportunity to elevate awareness surrounding mental health, as we continue to team up with the Current on creating a new path for inclusive health and wellness where mental health is as important as physical health.”
“It was so cool being in an environment that was all about youth!” said Natalia, a teenager who attended the event. “They made me feel safe and really encouraged being present. They had different spaces and activities. I really enjoyed the cooking group. I enjoy cooking, and when you get to do something you enjoy, you feel relaxed and safe to really be present.”
Mental health continues to be a major focus for the Kansas City Current. Members of the organization’s leadership team were trained to receive Mental Health First Aid® certifications, presented by Blue KC and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Mental Health First Aid® is the initial help offered to a person developing a mental health or substance use challenge or experiencing a mental health crisis. First aid is given until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis resolves.
Kansascitycurrent.com/sidelinethestigma includes access to Mental Health First Aid® training opportunities, mental health statistics and contact information for local and national crisis lines. The Kansas City Current and Blue KC plan to activate other mental health resources and programming during the 2023 season.
About the Kansas City Current
Founded in December 2020, the Kansas City Current is led by the ownership group of Angie Long, Chris Long and Brittany Mahomes. The team competes in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). The Kansas City Current announced plans for the first stadium purpose-built for a professional women’s soccer team with expected completion in 2024. To receive periodic updates on the new Kansas City Current Stadium at Berkley Riverfront Park, visit here to sign-up for more information or to stay connected.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.
About Synergy Services
Synergy Services provides a full continuum of care to assist individuals and families with immediate respite from violence, and services which empower clients to find and choose good options for future safety and success. In addition to our work to treat the effects of violence, we provide supportive services to families in crisis in an effort to prevent violence. Additionally, we focus on community education and social change in an effort to build a safer and more humane society. Our fully integrated programs include crisis hotlines, emergency shelter, transitional housing, therapeutic services, advocacy, mentoring and violence prevention programs throughout Greater Kansas City, serving of 21,000 Individuals annually.