Megan Fowler , LCSW, LSCSW
Together, Healing is Possible
Removing Barriers & Connecting People to Support
What better time than now to focus on well-being, connection, and a sense of purpose? In a post-acute COVID world, we settle into a new way of life, having gone through a collective purge, centering our intentions around what is most valuable. For individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders, joy often feels out of reach as the world seems to outpace us in the quest to discover what creates joy. The isolation and turmoil the disease of addiction brings creates a sense of hopelessness that can only be healed through community reckoning and resourcefulness. Recovery is attainable. While traditional forms of residential care and extended inpatient programs have become increasingly inaccessible, programs exist to fill gaps in the continuum of care. These programs are creating a channel of support for the under- and un-insured, weaving together a sustainable foundation for an individual and community experience of healing and resolve.
First Call was founded in 1958 to serve as one of these gap fillers in the Kansas City metropolitan area. We provide community education, recovery, harm reduction, and prevention services to individuals and families impacted by substance use disorders at no cost or on a sliding scale. We never turn anyone away for inability to pay.
Our crisis call line is available 24/7 to anyone seeking prevention and treatment resources. Our Recovery Advocates provide individualized care through early recovery, recovery groups to build and enhance a sense of mutual support and create healthy coping skills, and assessments to determine appropriate level of care, whether that be withdrawal management, outpatient, or inpatient treatment.
Our Reentry program focuses on individuals transitioning from incarceration into the community by minimizing barriers that impact sustained motivation for change. First Call’s Prevention department facilitates professional and community educational programming and school-based psychoeducational groups and provides technical support to neighborhood coalitions aiming to decrease rates of substance use in their communities.
First Call’s Family Services department offerings include How to Cope and Caring for Kids, both evidence-grounded curricula that walk loved ones through the process of setting healthy boundaries, communicating effectively, and understanding that they alone cannot cure, did not cause, and cannot control their family member’s substance use.
In recent years, First Call’s mission has broadened to include education and implementation of harm reduction strategies: Naloxone, the life-saving drug that reverses the deadly effects of opioids, and test strips that detect the presence of Fentanyl in substances prior to ingestion. We do the tireless work of de-stigmatizing harm reduction by helping the community understand that unless a person is alive, recovery isn’t possible. Harm reduction tools save lives.
We all are impacted in some way by addiction at an individual, family, or community level. Normalizing receiving help and accessing support is critical to understanding that mental health and addiction co-exist. As the dust continues to settle from a few long years of disconnectedness, First Call is positioned to lead the work of connecting people to support and to one another. Recovery is possible when we are in it together.