Have you ever felt overwhelmed… and just really needed to talk? Sometimes a little conversation can go a long way. Sadly, many mentally ill people are all alone. For them, a local non-profit is ready to lend a friendly ear.
“The Ear” is staffed by volunteers who have lived through similar experiences. They are confidants who understand how devastating and isolating the experience of mental illness can be.
KCPT is committed this year to shedding a greater spotlight on issues surrounding mental health. Mental illnesses are not talked about a lot and the stigma associated with these illnesses mean many people struggle with their conditions in isolation. Just having someone who’s willing to listen can be huge.
“Compassionate Ear” is a 365 days-a-year phone line that is staffed by volunteers who themselves have suffered with mental health problems. They offer non-medical, non-crisis support for people looking for advice, tips, or just a reprieve from their loneliness. It’s a service of the Kansas City, Kansas based Mental Health America of the Heartland which is now fielding more than 300 calls a month.
The Compassionate Ear phone line service operates from 4 to 10 pm everyday including holidays. You can receive peer support through the Compassionate Ear by calling 1-866-WARM EAR.
Where do you go to see Kansas City’s history? Corinthian Hall, the longtime home of the Kansas City Museum, has been shuttered since January 2008. The hundred year old mansion on Gladstone Boulevard in Kansas City’s historic Northeast neighborhood is in such disrepair it will take more than 20 million dollars to make it into a modern, functioning museum. Randy Mason welcomes Christopher Leitch, the Museum’s Director, to The Local Show to discuss the challenges of reviving this Kansas City landmark.
Quidditch? Yes…you read that correctly. The Kansas University Quidditch team is now headed to the World Cup with a top ranking. They were #1 in the rankings in mid-October, but they fell one spot to #2 in the most recent rankings behind the sport’s originators from Middlebury College in Vermont. They will head to the World Cup on Nov. 11 to try to recapture that top spot.
Jonathan Cooper, KU Junior from Lee’s Summit, MO, recently produced a segment about the Quidditch team for his reporting class and The Local Show now presents an excerpt from the piece he produced after the rankings came out in October with KU atop the list.
Here is the accompanying story he wrote:
KU Quidditch Team Seeks World Cup Win
The University of Kansas has a new number one ranked athletic team, and it is not basketball. It’s not football or soccer or volleyball either. In fact, many people probably don’t even consider it a sport.
But for about 30 KU students, the news that their team is the best in the world, is the icing on the cake to a sport they started playing only two years ago. The sport is Quidditch, the Harry Potter inspired game where wizards fly to score goals in multiple rings.
“It’s different from the Harry Potter world in the fact that you can’t fly,” said Doug Whiston, team captain and founder. “We have to make certain concessions to actual physics.”
KU junior Doug Whiston organized the club his freshman year, which officially was recognized by the University in 2010. Whiston noticed the sport gain popularity at other schools around the country and gathered his friends to play in tournaments.
“It started just as casual talk and then Wichita State e-mailed us about a tournament they were hosting,” Whiston said. “We quickly scrambled and got a team together, and then we went down, competed and got third place.”
The team quickly grew and started playing in tournaments against other schools. Just last week the International Quidditch Association ranked KU as the number one team in all of human Quidditch.
“Now that we are ranked one we have a target on our back,” said Hai Nguyen, a player that is one of the founding members. “We have to bring our A-game every time or we could lose a step.”
The team’s success has come fast for Whiston who is unsure if they deserve it.
“A lot of schools on the East Coast say we only play Midwest schools,” Whiston said. “They tell us to face some real competition.”
Whiston and the rest of the team will get their chance starting Nov. 11 at the World Cup in New York.
“The World Cup is a tournament with about 100 teams,” Whiston said. “There will be schools there from around the county and a couple international ones.”
Whiston said the team is excited for the opportunity, but for him, winning is not everything.
“I just want to see us face some tough competition,” Whiston said. “It will be fun to see how good schools on the East Coast are.”
The tournament will run from Nov. 11 to 14, with the winner earning bragging rights as the best team in the world.
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This week on The Local Show, we talk to Tavis Smiley and Peter Yelorda about the new America I Am exhibit which is now open at Union Station. We profile Alphapointe, the Kansas City non-profit which provides job opportunities for the blind and visually impaired. Kansas City artist Rita Blitt has been commissioned to create a memorial for the victims, rescuers and survivors of the Hyatt collapse. The Local Show’s Randy Mason checks in on her progress.
The Skywalk Memorial Foundation commissioned esteemed international artist Rita Blitt to create a sculpture that will serve as the focal piece of a memorial honoring the victims, rescuers and survivors of the Hyatt Skywalk collapse in 1981.