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KSHB 41: Children's Mercy's Illuminate program seeks to address youth mental health in Kansas City region

By Dia Wall

The word illuminate means to make something more visible by shining a light on it.

It's also the name and purpose of a new mental health campaign and commitment at Children's Mercy Hospital.

I first heard about the new plan this summer. The financial investment is a bold one — $150 million.

The more I looked into the 14 programs set to begin in the next five years, the more I felt compelled to share a series of stories highlighting some of its components.

My why is simple: more families than you may know are battling youth mental health and struggling to get access to the help they need.

Illuminate plans to — 

Facilitate early intervention

  • Mental health integration in primary care;
  • School-based programs;
  • Care coordination (intake, triage and navigation);
  • Behavioral therapy services.

Increase specialty services

  • Depression and anxiety (DAY Clinic);
  • Eating disorders;
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD);
  • Autism;
  • Rapid diagnosis.

Invest in research and innovation

  • Precision dosing for mental health medication;
  • Ensuring equity in care;
  • Patient education;
  • Safety plan app;
  • Clinician education.

Expand inpatient hospital care

  • Inpatient psychiatric campus;
  • Acute mental health crisis center;
  • Partial hospital program;
  • Integrated inpatient unit.


See the series of news stories via KSHB 41

Mental Health Care: Lighting the Path Forward

Illuminate project updates