Hutchinson’s Mental Health CEO Shares Insights Before Retirement

Mike Jarrett, vice president and executive director of the Horizons Center for Mental Health, will retire at the end of June after 41 years.

Mike Garrett, son of a minister and part of the “help a lot” family, said going into the mental health field “was a natural thing”.

Jarrett, 66, will retire at the end of this month after 41 years with Horizons, including his last 15 years as its CEO.

He left behind a much expanded process that continues to change the way mental illness is seen and treated in Reno County and south central Kansas.

Over the years, Garrett said, he has seen ups and downs in prioritizing mental health as a national issue and cause. While current funding has not returned to its pre-recession levels more than a decade ago, collaborative efforts in the community, including in law enforcement and the courts, have reached new levels.

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Mike Garrett, vice president and executive director of the Horizons Center for Mental Health, walks toward his retirement ceremony on the afternoon of Thursday, June 2, 2022.

the start

Garrett graduated from Liberal High School, and received his master’s degree in clinical psychology from Fort Hays State University.

“I took a few classes[at FHSU]and found myself drawn to them,” Garrett said. “I enjoyed it more than the basic sciences, like physics and chemistry.”

Jarrett went to work in 1981 as a therapist in Pratt’s office for what was then called the Institute of Mental Health. In 1994, he began taking on administrative responsibilities for what are now Horizons at the Pratt, Kingman, Medicine Lodge, and Anthony offices.

In 2007, he became CEO of Horizons at Hutchinson.

“Horizons was going through a tough time in that 2006 and 2007 time period,” Garrett said. “Our supervisor left, and he needed some leadership. We needed some kind of guiding rudder for the organization. The board of directors approached me, some staff approached me, and I agreed to step in and serve the role.”