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  • Press release

CHC/SEK expands behavioral health services in Linn County

Updated: Apr 6

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) has added therapist John Smart, a clinical social worker, to the staff at the agency's La Cygne and Pleasanton clinics. (Submitted photo)


CHC/SEK news release


Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas expanded its behavioral health program into Linn County by welcoming Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker John Smart to its staff.

Smart will provide therapy services to adults and children aged 10 and older in CHC/SEK's La Cygne clinic at 1017 E Market St. and Pleasanton clinic at 11155 Tucker Road.


He can evaluate and provide guidance on symptoms to assess the best method of treatment for those living with anxiety, depression, stress, bipolar disorder, history of trauma, grief and loss. He also serves as an outlet for someone who needs a listening ear. Appointments can be made by calling CHC/SEK's main number, 620-231-9873.


Smart grew up in southwest Missouri and has worked in the Kansas City Metro area for many years. He received his Master's of Social Work at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and a Bachelor's of Social Work at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. Smart served as a therapist for nine years and was a mental health case manager for over nine years before that.


In a sense, Smart's mother, who was a county community health nurse, inspired him to enter the healthcare field.


"I think that rubbed off on me," he said. "I wanted to do something to help others. I enjoy trying to help people have awareness of themselves and their strengths."


Smart recalls his experience in the "Introduction to Psychology" class in high school. There, he learned about the theoretical perspectives in psychology, including Existential Therapy.


"I appreciated the concept of how important it is for people to experience meaning and purpose in their lives," Smart said. "When people find connection to meaning, their own strengths, and supportive people and routines they are often empowered to overcome hardships, and to find joy.”


To Smart, mental health is not separate from overall health. He has seen many patients who also had to cope with serious physical health care needs along with limited resources to address those needs.


"I hope there will be a day when people’s mental, physical and social health needs are commonly recognized as equally important aspects of their overall well-being," he said. "I love how Community Health can do so much good by working with the understanding that we must care for the whole person."

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