Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

Update on the Governor's Mental Health Initiative planning process

May 20, 2013 11:00 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

In January, Governor Brownback initiated his Mental Health Initiative, which canceled proposed cuts to mental health grants and funding for at-risk children.  The Initiative proposes to continue $5 million in mental health grants to community mental health centers and re-purpose $4.75 million from the Family Centered Systems of Care to focus on regional resources for difficult to engage Kansans with serious mental illness.  The mental health community has welcomed the attention to the system, and is working with the Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services for planning.  At this point, there are four identifiable planning activities associated with the initiative:

1. Regional Recovery and Supports Centers (RRSC) Advisory Committee

2. Contract Revision Committee

3. Stakeholder meetings (held in May)   See presentation.

4. GBHPSC Task Force Review of Mental Health System  (not yet appointed by the Governor)

There are difficult tasks to be accomplished here.  So far, the agency has identified the target population and a map of the regions - each will have a lead community mental health center for its Regional Recovery and Supports Centers grants. According to planning documents, the target population is individuals who are uninsured and under-insured and are at risk of being admitted to state or local hospitals due to a lack of engagement or demonstrated ability to follow a treatment plan.  This may include individuals who use crisis services but never engage in other services offered by the CMHCs.  Also included are those who keep appointments inconsistently and tend to be elusive or "on the fringes".  

What is not yet clear are the services currently being provided under the Family Centered Systems of Care program that might be lost and what will be continued under each centers' ability to absorb those costs under different funding streams.

Initial planning indicates that the regions will design their own programs based on a needs assessment of the region.  This process is supposed to include cooperation among the centers and stakeholders in the region, to develop a collaborative program of resource sharing.  The

Information is available at a special website developed by KDADS - www.bhsupdates.org.   

KMHC members are engaged in various levels of this planning process and will continue to have monthly updates at regular meetings.  The Coalition is hopeful that this Initiative will be able to build on the work that has already been done in Kansas to introduce effective programs regionally that may eventually be implemented statewide.  The fact that this Initiative will not bring new money into the system makes it a daunting challenge, so the program must have a realistic focus. 

See events page for more information about the monthly meetings.

(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4744, Topeka, KS  66604  785-969-1617

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