New center open in Augusta

Augusta — At a recent open house, South Central Mental Health Counseling Center celebrated the opening of their youth drop in center, The Hangar. The Hangar is a safe place where youth ages 14-21 can engage in purposeful activities. There is no charge for participation.
Run by a staff of peers, The Hangar provides a place for youth to do homework, participate in leadership groups, practice for job interviews, play video games, chat with supportive peers and adults, and much more. This program will be fully youth-driven.
“When all this started, we saw that there was a lack of resources for youth in our community,” said Debra Garcia, Program Coordinator for South Central Mental Health. “Youth need additional resources where they can come to find support and ideas for how to navigate the transition into adulthood. That’s what The Hangar is going to provide.”
Where Youth Spirits Soar, The Hangar’s slogan, is a reflection of the purpose of the drop in center. “We want young people to have a place where they can prepare for the future and discover their purpose,” Garcia said.
The Hangar is part of the larger Youth Empowerment Program (Y.E.P.) of Butler County. This program is an umbrella of supports for youth in need of guidance, direction, and other services. The goal of Y.E.P is to improve the well-being of youth and young adults and help guide them through their transition into adulthood.
Strategically located across from the Augusta High School and near the police and fire stations, the building has ample parking, outdoor space for activities, and is easily accessible. Three tiers of service and supports will be delivered at The Hangar: drop in services, the Intensive Care Engagement for Youth (ICEY) program, and the Young Adult Preparation Program for Living Empowered (YAPPLE) program.
The Hangar drop in center is made possible by the collaboration between South Central Mental Health Counseling Center and the Kansas System of Care.
South Central Mental Health Counseling Center:South Central Mental Health Counseling Center develops, cultivates, and supports social service organizations in Butler County and around the state of Kansas. The Center provides quality mental health services that empower individuals, families, and communities of Butler County to help shape promising futures. For more information, contact Debra Garcia at DebraGarcia@scmhcc.org or call 316-201-4387.
 Kansas System of Care:
SAMHSA awarded a four-year System of Care (SOC) Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreement to KDADS in 2016. The purpose of this program is to improve behavioral health outcomes for children and youth (ages birth through 21 years) with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families. Kansas SOC is the partnership of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), Community Engagement Institute (CEI), and four Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs): Compass Behavioral Health, South Central Mental Health Counseling Center, Sumner Mental Health Center and Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Health. For more information, contact Kelsee Torrez at Kelsee.Torrez@ks.gov.