Mental health waits for no one, but with many communities in dire need of more behavioral health services — especially more accessible ones — many people with mental health struggles are forced to go without necessarily support. Marketing and Communications Director Carmen Pendelton sat for an interview with accessHealth News to talk about ReDiscover, a nonprofit located in Kansas City that focuses on mental health and substance abuse disorders. The organization has been around for more than 50 years serving their community with a focus on comprehensive and compassionate care for families, adults, and children, including individuals without insurance or who have limited financial means.

ReDiscover launched in 1968 as a result of the dearth of mental health services for individuals with mental disorders. A small group of volunteers, led by Shirley Fearon, came together and formed the Southeastern Jackson County Mental Health Association. They founded a counseling center to serve those with behavioral health difficulties, often people with family problems or children facing issues in school. A year later, the center was incorporated, and four years after that, the mental health center broke ground on its first permanent building. As more time went by, the organization expanded the programs and services it provided to add a multitude of amenities such as substance counseling, therapy and drug testing for individuals on probation or who are pretrial, and residential adult substance use disorder programs, among other initiatives. Today, ReDiscover has 11 locations.

With the sheer quantity of services they provide, Pendelton said that one of the organization’s primary concerns was spreading the word and ensuring that their community knows all the ways in which ReDiscover is ready to help. “We’re here and we’re ready to serve,” Pendelton said. “We’re really growing, and we’re trying to get the messages out about all of our programs.”

ReDiscover has three main types of services available: crisis, mental health, and substance use. Within each division are a number of specific amenities, such as Behavioral Health Urgent Care Clinics, suicide prevention, and assessment and triage centers under crisis care services, opioid, outpatient, and residential treatment under substance use care services, and a broad spectrum of over a dozen programs ranging from deaf services to psychiatric rehabilitation and just about everything in between. 

Individuals with chronic diseases can get much-needed and often overlooked mental health care services from ReDiscover, along with financial aid if the burden is a barrier to care. Other barriers that the nonprofit targets in the pursuit of equitable care include transportation, as many of their services are now no longer confined to a clinic far away from their clients. “Instead of people coming to us, we are able to serve people in the area in which they actually are,” Pendelton said. For services that can’t yet move closer to clients, transportation is often available.

With so many programs and more constantly being developed or adapted to better suit the problems faced by the community, ReDiscover is fully dedicated to meeting the needs in its community. “I want ReDiscover to mean to the community that we are what our slogan says: that we are passionate about helping people make a change within their lives,” Pendelton said. “We’re here to help. We’re here for everyone.”

Just as ReDiscover is dedicated to helping its community, there are many things its community can do to give back. GivingTuesday, a global movement which encourages communities to give back to the organizations that serve them, takes place this year on November 28, 2023. Local nonprofits everywhere depend on days like GivingTuesday to power their programs and continue serving their communities. “GivingTuesday is an opportunity for people to reflect on the needs of nonprofits overall,” Pendelton said. “Sometimes people miss what it means to give to nonprofits, but the community actually helps as well.” ReDiscover’s multitude of programs require many resources to run effectively, and every donation matters. “Donate that change, because all quarters add up,” Pendelton said. This GivingTuesday, consider putting your generosity toward a donation to ReDiscover. 

You can learn more about ReDiscover here and more about GivingTuesday here