Kansas City Current and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City team up to launch behavioral health initiative Kansas City Current

Kansas City Current and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City team up to launch behavioral health initiative

The Kansas City Current and founding partner Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) are proud to unveil their new initiative, “Sideline the Stigma,” to raise awareness for mental health. This effort focuses on promoting actionable and practical resources to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and giving support to all Kansas Citians.  

Sideline the Stigma kicked off last week with an event, in partnership with Synergy Services, where youth participated in various workshops with KC Current defender Jenna Winebrenner about movement, music, art and conversation about mental health. In addition, players Mallory Weber and Addisyn Merrick joined a panel of experts and former athletes to talk about removing the stigma around mental health challenges. 

“Blue KC is a perfect partner for us given a shared vision and an unwavering commitment to the Kansas City community,” said Chris Long, co-owner of the Kansas City Current. “We are excited to embark on this important initiative together where our teams can work to not only lessen the stigma around mental health issues, but also ultimately help every Kansas Citian find the resources they may need. Supporting our community and anyone facing these struggles is imperative to the health of our metro.” 

Mental health continues to be a major focus for the Kansas City Current. Earlier this year, members of the organization’s leadership team underwent Mental Health First Aid® certification training, 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. The first aid is given until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis resolves. 

The team has also worked with other local organizations, including Zero Reasons Why, a storytelling and community mobilization campaign to remove the stigma of mental health and prevent teen suicide. 

“At Blue KC, we are committed to elevating awareness surrounding mental health. Our partnership with the KC Current is an opportunity to carve a new path for inclusive health and wellness where mental health is as important as physical health,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Together, we can help children, teens and adults in our community learn how to talk about mental health, recognize when they or others need help and help guide them to tools and resources they need to access care.” 

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.  



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