‘A little nudge’: Retired colonel is dedicated to helping those struggling with addiction

Better Health & Wellness

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — For those struggling with substance abuse, there are local resources that can help. Brenda Dietzman is a retired colonel from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office who now dedicates time to help people in crisis.

“Actually saw that firsthand on an almost daily basis — how much need there was in this community, with not only substance use disorders which is huge, but also that mental health component,” Dietzman said.

Since retiring, she has become the project manager for the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Coalition in Wichita.

“We are an organization that is trying to help people who are in crisis.”

Dietzman said one of the problems the community faces is not easily solved.

“We don’t have enough people in these helping professions that they can actually provide the services when we need them.”

Over the years, she realized her passion was helping people so they could start helping themselves.

“It’s an incredible sight to see when, when people, you give them a little nudge in the right direction, and then you know you hear from them 5, 10, 20 years later, and how their life has changed,” Dietzman explained.

She said one of the biggest reasons people don’t get the assistance they need is because people don’t know exactly who to turn to.

“If you’re in crisis, if you’re having that, you’re at rock bottom, and you have to call three, four, five different organizations, that gets tough sometimes.”

She says oftentimes it’s so discouraging that people give up, but there are resources like COMCARE right here in our community that can help. 

“COMCARE crisis line is always there 316-660-7500. It’s 24/7. You can get a hold of somebody that can point you in the right direction, give you advice, or get you to somebody that can get you help personally.”

Dietzman said the United Way helpline is another great resource, just dial 211.

“You might not be ready to knock on the door of an addiction treatment place yet, but start the ball rolling. Just see what it takes and see, see what’s available for you out there, but please reach out, there are people who care.”

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