Kansas City Health Department’s “Let’s Win KC” Initiative Makes Impact on Wear Orange Day for National Gun Violence Awareness Week

Kansas City, MO – June 12, 2024 – The Kansas City Health Department’s “Let’s Win KC” initiative made a powerful statement on Wear Orange Day for National Gun Violence Awareness Week. The event, part of the 18th & Vine District’s June First Fridays, took place from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm, and drew significant attention and participation, leaving a lasting impact on the community.

Let’s Win KC provided resources, educational materials, and advocacy tools to raise awareness about gun violence and promote community safety. The highlight of the event was a compelling gun violence discussion panel, featuring esteemed speakers such as Mayor Pro Tem Ryana Parks-Shaw, Major Dan Haley of the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD), Director of Public Safety Melesa Johnson, and Major Kari Thompson of KCPD. Over 50 attendees actively engaged in the dialogue and shared their perspectives on addressing gun violence in the community.

Following the conclusion of the panel discussion, members of the Kansas City chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council gathered to take a united stand against gun violence, captured in a photo symbolizing a collective commitment to addressing this critical issue and promoting peace within the community.
The “Let’s Win KC” initiative’s Wear Orange Day event was a testament to the community’s resilience and determination to combat gun violence. By fostering open dialogue, collaboration, and advocacy, the event underscored the shared efforts and commitment to creating a safer and more secure environment for all residents of Kansas City. “As we work to prevent gun violence in Kansas City it’s imperative to address the systemic barriers to truly diminish the root causes of this societal affliction.” explains Cecil Wattree, Division Manager of the KCMO Health Department. “We will continue to conduct community outreach, including community engagement meetings.” More resources and information will be shared with the community through KC Blueprint, the City’s crime prevention plan.

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Olympian Muna Lee and Basketball All-Star Michael Watson Team Up To Promote Mental Health & Physical Fitness

KCMO Health Department Launches Team Up to Win Campaign on World Mental Health Day

Kansas City, Missouri – As World Mental Health Day approaches on October 10th, the Kansas City Health Department is launching new communications to support its mental health initiative, Let’s WIN KC (LWKC).  This fall’s new creative campaign, titled Team Up to Win, continues the work started in 2022 of providing essential resources and awareness for mental health and overall well-being. With Team Up to Win, this year builds on the first year’s focus on individual action and personal reflection, now working to inspire people and organizations to come together for community-wide health betterment.  Champion athletes and KC natives, Muna Lee and Michael Watson serve as ambassadors of the new campaign.

Let’s WIN KC was conceived in response to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many forms of loss it caused, ranging from job loss to loss of life.  This loss exacerbated anxiety and depression and the need for mental health support.  Let’s WIN KC works to move people beyond the state of losses to winning, by educating the community, particularly low socio-economic residents, about key available resources.

The agency, Blue Symphony LLC, developed and launched LWKC.  According to Marketing and Creative Director, Ken Lumpkins, “We found that we’ve been able to effectively reach hundreds of thousands in the community and drive real impact.  In fact, we were told by a mother that we helped save her son’s life by simply providing contact information to resources.”  Lumpkins states, “A popular tool we created is a laminated wallet card that helps people manage anxiety, depression, and anger in the moment.” This simple yet powerful tool contains proven techniques and essential contact information that can be a lifeline.  The cards can be picked up at the KCMO Health Department at 2400 Troost Avenue or ordered online at letswinkc.com.

LWKC draws inspiration from the world of sports, demonstrating the parallels between winning and losing in games and life. The new Team Up to Win communications feature esteemed champions, Muna Lee and Michael Watson.  Both are graduates of Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri. Muna, a two-time Olympian, was a standout world champion in track and field.  She represented the nation in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Michael Watson, a basketball prodigy, left an indelible mark on the UMKC Kangaroos, earning recognition as UMKC’s all-time leading scorer, having his number retired by the university.  He signed a free agent contract with the NBA’s Boston Celtics in 2004 and played professionally for 10 seasons in Poland, Turkey, Italy, France, and his native Puerto Rico.   Athletes are especially appropriate for the campaign because physical fitness is an important component for mental health.  They also have a base of fans that can be reached and supported.  Athletes, as well as the city’s professional sports teams are being invited to support this effort.

The new campaign launches on Tuesday, October 10th, which is World Mental Health Day, a global initiative mobilizing efforts to support mental health, reduce the stigma, and advocate for good mental health practices.  A variety of tactics, including digital, print, and outdoor will be released throughout the year.  Live events will be hosted, including for the second year in a row, the LWKC team-up with The KnowJoey? Foundation’s Turkey Tuesday food donation event on November 21st, followed by WIN Wednesday, November 22nd.  Wednesday’s event is the food distribution fair where those in need can receive food donations, nonperishables, plus health and wellness resources.  Both events are held at Kansas City Urban Youth Academy 1622 E. 17th Terrace Kansas City, MO 64108.  New this year, at a separate location is a wrap-up, hot-plate meal event.

For details, resources, more events or to get involved, please visit letswinkc.com.

The Kansas City Health Department is dedicated to enhancing the well-being of Kansas City residents by providing essential resources and support. Through innovative campaigns like Let’s WIN KC, we aim to foster a community where mental and physical health are prioritized.

Mental health campaign launches in kcmo

Kansas City, Missouri – The Kansas City Health Department is launching a new campaign named Let’s Win KC. This effort is especially focused on providing low socio-economic neighborhoods with resources to improve their mental health and their overall wellbeing through education, information, and improved access to resources. Promotional efforts will begin November 23rd, 2022 and run through early 2023.

As the title suggests, Let’s Win KC, is a call for the collective community to get involved to support our wellness and ultimate success.  According to campaign director, Ken Lumpkins, of the agency, Blue Symphony, “The community has suffered great losses from COVID-19. Loss of jobs, businesses, loved ones, and even some freedoms which all contributed to a deterioration in our mental health.  Our aim is to move from a season of these losses to a winning season by providing the necessary resources.”

The COVID – 19 pandemic impacted local communities in many ways. COVID – 19 increased anxiety and depression worldwide by 25%. Missouri ranks among states with the highest rates of untreated anxiety and depression (World Health Organization, 2022). Let’s Win KC was designed to help bring awareness of resources available to Kansas Citians to help themselves or others. The Kansas City Health Department is committed to making this a winning season for all.

Let’s Win KC also captures the championship nature of Kansas City, a city which boasts sports achievement from baseball, soccer, football, and even world-class Olympians.  To that end, the campaign will feature athletes who’ve had to master seasons of wins, losses, and their own mental challenges to succeed.  The fitness nature of sports also introduces the fact that wellness includes physical activity to support mental and overall health.  Beyond the sports realm, musicians, community leaders, mental health professionals and more will all participate to ensure this is a community-inclusive effort.

The campaign will be composed of digital and live events. Prizes, celebrity guests and other items will be introduced along the campaign journey to keep the community engaged while mental and general health is promoted.