In December of 1969, a group of students from the University of Kansas founded Headquarters as a “community drug use and abuse center,” and 24-hour hotline staffed mostly by volunteers at 1546 Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, KS. Anyone, particularly high-school could call or drop in to hang out, attend classes on drug use, use the drug library, or just talk.
By 1970, Headquarters began to shift in its role from a teenage social center to a community social center and soon after as a crisis center for all people of all ages with any kind of concern.
In the mid 1980’s, a suicide prevention program for junior high school students was presented for the first time and Headquarters began participating in AAS (American Association of Suicidology as suicide-related contacts grew year-over-year.
In the 1990’s volunteer training continued expanding, improving the quality of counseling services. A toll-free, 800 number was added to serve Baldwin City, KS.
In the 1980s, Headquarters began to focus more intently on suicide prevention By 1994, Headquarters established a toll-free number, opening up to service from across the state.
Headquarters joined Hopeline in the early 2000s. Hopeline would become the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and HQ first became an accredited NSPL crisis center in 2013.
Into the 2010s, Headquarters added another suicide prevention initiative, the Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center, not only counseling those in crisis, but raising awareness, teaching individuals how to help others, and giving resources to communities to be suicide safer.
The road for those who have been a part of HQ over the past 50 years wasn’t an easy one. There was more than once that it seemed that HQ might be closing its doors. Each time, the community came together, rallied, and worked to support HQ and the tens-of-thousand of callers we seek to help and support every year.
It takes a village. Thank you to you all as a community for your support, love, and kindness you show, not only us at HQ, but every individual—every person who reaches out for help.
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What about Today?
KSPHQ is the “parent organization” of Headquarters Counseling Center and the Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Together these programs form a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.
The resource center provides awareness tools, training, and resources across the state of Kansas. We work within schools, businesses, civic organizations, and with local and state leaders to address suicide prevention in individual communities.
The counseling center provides life-saving 24-hour crisis services through local numbers, online chat, and as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Center serving all 105 counties in Kansas.
What’s in a name?
The name, KSPHQ seeks to pay homage to the original organization, Headquarters, while remaining mission-focused to help anyone from across Kansas, into the greater Kansas City metro area, and further.
Through the Headquarters Counseling Center program, 50+ volunteers receive training every year to become volunteer counselors. After a 100-hour training program over 8-9 weeks, volunteers are asked to commit 300 hours to answering calls in the crisis center. Calls are routed to the crisis center from all 105 counties in Kansas through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and placed directly to 785-841-2345, the same local number established in 1969.
Through the Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center Program, KSPHQ staff work with state and local officials to bring suicide prevention training and awareness to communities across the state.