Resiliency Rally aims to help Kansas Citians deal with stress

Posted at 2:11 PM, May 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-14 13:15:08-04

A Resiliency Rally is being held Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arrowhead Stadium.

The rally brought in more than 50 organizations, offering KC residents resources and services on how to overcome adversity.

KC Chamber Jasmin Williams says Kansas City is one of 14 cities across the country working on building trauma informed communities and resilient communities.

“So we spent last year really trying to educate Kansas City on how adverse childhood experiences affect us and the more traumas and adversities in childhood, the more likely you are to have heart disease, diabetes,” Williams said. “You name the health disparity, it can be based from the number of traumas you've had in childhood.”

Williams says this year they really wanted to focus on what they can do about it, and how to build resilience in residents throughout the community.

“Resilience is the ability to bounce back or overcome stress or pressure,” Williams said. “So you can look around and see you have over 50 organizations here that are local and they all provide amazing resources to help people overcome adversities.”

With one in four adults who deal with a mental illness, Williams says she hopes this event not only raises awareness but offers help.

“That's a lot of people in our community that are dealing with a lot of different life things that are weighing on them and so with so many people in the community it's how do we provide those resources,” she said.

“There's so many connections you can make here not only for yourself but for others,” veteran Andrew Potter said.

Potter suffers from PTSD. “I did three deployments to Afghanistan in 2012, 2013, 2014 and I came back and I didn't really realize that I was suffering a lot but it's kind of taken a toll on myself and my family.”

Potter is involved with two KC nonprofits: Warriors’ Ascent and his newest one, Exploring Roots.

“We work with inner city kids and youth by getting them out in nature, get them rock climbing and getting them out on the trails,” he said.

Potter says events like the Resiliency Rally and ways to serve others can carry people a long way.

“Through that and the work afterwards, it's just been really huge in making me a better father, better husband,” he said. “The more I find ways to serve others, the better life gets.”

Williams says right now they’re collecting data to get an understanding of how adversities affect Kansas Citians. She says they expect to have a report on their findings this fall.

The rally is part of the KC Chamber's Healthy KC Initiative. It is sponsored by Sesame Street in Communities and in partnership with Trauma KC Matters.