Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

          News

  • May 01, 2014 2:05 PM | Anonymous
    At 3 p.m. on Thursday, the budget conference committee is still negotiating the final eight items or so.  At this stage of the game, the Governor's Budget Amendment is included - containing additional funding for substance abuse treatment ($500,000), mental health institutional diversion ($500,000), and reducing HCBS waiting lists ($4 m plus federal funds).  It also includes the language needed to allow KDADS to move forward with the Rainbow Alternative Project and adjustments in consensus caseloads.

    This is good news, considering yesterday's news report that Kansas April revenue receipts were far short of predictions and could have resulted in some reactive budget cutting today.  Read the Capital Journal story at Kansas Revenue falls 92m 


  • May 01, 2014 12:39 PM | Anonymous
    When the Legislature convened for Veto Session on Wednesday, April 30, the Appropriations Committee wasted no time in creating a budget bill.  The committee adopted the consensus caseloads, adopted the Governor's Budget Amendments (GBAs), adopted some of the omnibus funding items associated with legislation that has already passed the Legislature, dumped the contents into a Senate bill and adjourned.  

    The normal legislative process would have led to staff cranking out multiple pages of statistics, combined costs, and ending balances.  Then, perhaps by Friday, the full House would consider the budget bill.  But this is certainly not a year for normal legislative process.  There has been no further action to create a House budget bill - instead, House conferees moved directly into negotiating with the Senate over the Senate's budget bill.

    Senate Ways and Means had already adopted the consensus caseloads over the legislative break.  Also, the Senate had already passed a "mega-budget bill" during the regular session under a House bill number, so it was ready for conference committee.  Typically, SWM would meet again to create an omnibus budget bill.  Not this year.

    Surprisingly, the Committee leadership began conferencing on the Senate mega-budget bill and began adopting various new provisions as a part of that conference committee report.  (It had been rumored that the House might enter budget negotiations without passing their own budget bill - but few were betting on it.)

    This could put the Legislature in the amazing position of being able to pass a budget bill and possibly adjourn by late Friday or Saturday.  By meeting until around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, the conference committee was able to pare down their list of "items of disagreement" from more than 130 to less than 10.  The conference committee has met several times on Thursday, and the House just adopted an "agree to disagree" motion which will allow the conference committee report to come back to the floor with only four signatures of the six conferees.  

    There are other issues pending before the Legislature, but none are absolutely necessary to accomplish before adjourning.  Even though the Legislature has ten days set aside for its veto session this year, it is apparent that the leadership hopes to wrap this up as soon as possible.  So, if any of the major tax proposals, anti-common core bills, or anti-renewable portfolio standards bills are to pass this session, they need to pass conference committees or find other legislative vehicles... soon.  
  • April 25, 2014 4:34 PM | Anonymous
    Governor Brownback held a press conference this afternoon in Lenexa to announce a GBA (Governor's Budget Amendment) proposal asking the Legislature to commit an additional $5 million state general funds to social services.  The proposal commits most of the spending to reducing PD and DD waiting lists.  It would also draw down additional federal dollars for this purpose.

    $1 million is targeted to mental health and substance abuse treatment.  As reported by KHI News Service, "The governor said he also will ask the Legislature for $500,000 to "beef up" substance use disorder treatment for the uninsured.  If approved, officials said that would fund 81 inpatient beds.  He also will ask for $500,000 to expand state hospital and corrections system mental health diversion programs to strengthen crisis services, law enforcement training and prevention programs."

    This is yet another step toward addressing some of the issues brought forward by the Governor's Mental Health Task Force Report.  Read the report.

    The Kansas Mental Health Coalition is supportive of these budget amendments and looks forward to lending its support to further actions by KDADS and other state agencies to implement the task force recommendations.

    Read the full KHI article containing much more detail about the waiting lists as reported by Mike Shields here.

  • April 24, 2014 4:40 PM | Anonymous

    Panel: Jails can't be 'dumping ground' in a mental health crisis

    Panelists discuss warrantless apprehension of people in mental health crisis

    ANN MARIE BUSH/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL

    Audience members listen Thursday as panelists speak about warrantless apprehension of people in a mental health crisis.

    By Ann Marie Bush

    Mental health advocates, law enforcement officers and hospital representatives spent two hours Thursday discussing warrantless apprehension of people who are in a mental health crisis.

    About 40 people, including officers from the Topeka Police Department, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence, Sedgwick County and Kansas City, Kan., gathered in a training room at the Law Enforcement Center from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. for the first Topeka/Shawnee County Crisis Intervention Team roundtable discussion.

    “I’m pleased,” said Topeka police Capt. Bill Cochran, who helped organized the event. “We had great panelists.”

    Often, jails and hospitals become a “dumping ground” for people who need mental health care, Cochran said. CIT plans to host future roundtables to discuss other mental health issues, he said.

    Panelists for Thursday’s presentation included Rick Cagen, executive director of NAMI Kansas; Cindy Hasvold, an emergency department RN case manager for Stormont-Vail Health Care; Shawn Kimble, an officer with TPD; Darren Root, Shawnee County assistant district attorney; Karen Stafford, crisis and intake manager for Valeo Behavioral Health Care; and Bill Rein, chief counsel with the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

    Rein, who helped write Kansas’ mental health law in 1986 and the Mental Health Reform Act of 1990, talked about the Texas mental health law for emergency detention and how it differs slightly from the Kansas statute for emergency detention.

    “The issues are extremely difficult,” Rein said of mental health and the law.

    Root also spoke about the similarities and differences of the two laws. He said while the wording is different, the “purpose is the same.”

    The Kansas statute addresses care and treatment for mentally ill people and the investigation, emergency detention, and authority and duty of law enforcement officers.

    The Kansas statute states, “Any law enforcement officer who has a reasonable belief formed upon investigation that a person is a mentally ill person and because of such person’s mental illness is likely to cause harm to self or others if allowed to remain at liberty may take the person into custody without a warrant.”

    The Texas law states, “A peace officer, without a warrant, may take a person into custody if the officer has reason to believe and does believe that the person is mentally ill and because of that mental illness there is a substantial risk of serious harm to the person or to others unless the person is immediately restrained.”

    Audience members and panelists discussed how the wording “harm to self” is vague and could be interpreted differently by agencies across the state. Agencies also can interrupt the law differently.

    Amy Campbell, with the Mental Health Coalition of Kansas, said, “We can change the words, but nothing will change on the ground.”

    Several audience members and panelists emphasized that Kansas needs more resources. Some also said a lot of people are being sent to the state hospital when they could be better served in a less-restricted local treatment facility or intermediate program.

    “I think the law works pretty well,” Root said. “It comes down to resources.”

  • April 24, 2014 12:36 PM | Anonymous

    TOPEKA – Governor Sam Brownback today signed a proclamation designating May as Mental Health Awareness Month in Kansas, calling upon all citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses, and schools in Kansas to commit to increasing awareness and understanding of mental illness and the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions.

    “We are here today to remind Kansans that mental illness is a common, painful experience for many people and their families,” Governor Brownback said. “My administration is working to strengthen the community and institutional supports our state offers those in need of help.”

    “Mental illness is often called an invisible illness. Many people are suffering in silence. One in five Americans has experienced mental illness within the past year.  It doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can develop a mental illness,” Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Shawn Sullivan said at the proclamation signing ceremony.

    “Attitudes around mental illness are beginning to change, but we still have a long way to go toward being able to discuss mental illness as a health challenge,” Secretary Sullivan said. “Our agency is committed to bringing awareness, recognition and education to the issues surrounding behavioral health.”

    KDADS has programs in place to allow all Kansans to play a role in building safe, healthy and supportive communities that support those with mental illness.

    “Community initiatives and individual citizens’ actions are vital to combat mental health misconceptions and stigma.  Let’s all begin by having genuine, open conversations about how mental health issues impact our state, communities and neighborhoods,” Secretary Sullivan said. “We can help stop the discrimination and end the silence about mental health issues.”

    Information about KDADS’ mental health programs and services, as well as collaborative efforts with community and advocacy groups focused on mental health, is available on the agency website at www.kdads.ks.gov<http://www.kdads.ks.gov> and at http://www.kansasbehavioralhealthservices.org<http://www.kansasbehavioralhealthservices.org/bhs1.0/>.



    For more information, contact:
    Angela de Rocha
    Director of Communications
    Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services
    785-806-7482

    ###

  • April 14, 2014 4:46 PM | Anonymous

    READ IT HERE.

    Rick Goscha, Co-Chair of the Governor's Mental Health Task Force will be a guest speaker at the KMHC April 23rd meeting to discuss the report.

    The Kansas Mental Health Coalition is pleased the report has been completed and looks forward to seeing Task Force recommendations put into action.  Staff at KDADS is going over the report to prioritize potential action items.  At this point, it is not clear what changes will be implemented or when.


  • April 01, 2014 3:19 PM | Anonymous

    The Kansas Legislature is in its final week of the regular session and knee-deep in the development of a new K-12 budget proposal.   The Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision March 7, ordering the Legislature to address inequities in its education funding plan prior to July 1.  The Court ruled that cuts in State K-12 spending had resulted in unbalanced funding for wealthy and poor districts that is unconstitutional.  As a result, the House and Senate pulled back their K-12 education plans for re-shuffling.  

    Advocates for other budget issues including behavioral health are waiting to see whether or not the education budget plans will run on their own, or if other budget issues will be rolled into a more traditional "mega-budget" bill.  It is likely these issues may be kept separate for now to avoid floor amendments that draw from one agencies budget to fund another.  Updated consensus revenue estimates are due during the legislative spring break, and the larger budget will likely wait for that information. 

    Last week, the Governor stated that he expected the Legislature would be able to Last week, the Governor stated that he expected the Legislature would be able to resolve the K-12 funding issue by the end of this week, but that is looking like a very difficult goal at this point.

    The development of Senate and House education plans have had some complications.  The House Appropriations Chairman introduced a plan last week that was quickly pulled back by the Speaker of the House.  Speaker Merrick stated that the leadership had not agreed to a plan that included charter school measures and released a plan without those provisions.

    On Monday, Rep. Marc Rhoades quit as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee over disagreement with the Speaker regarding the education funding proposal.  Appropriations is considered the most powerful committee in the House of Representatives.

    As a result, the Vice-Chair Rep. Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita) moved into the Chair position and Rep. Marvin Kleeb (R-Overland Park) was appointed Vice-Chair.  The Appropriations Committee met most of the last two days and received public testimony on the new House education proposal.  Interestingly, there are Appropriations members who continue to show interest in including charter school policies in the funding bill. Democrats have expressed dismay that these budget bills are loaded with policy and should be heard by the Education Committees rather than budget committees.

    "Drop Dead Day" is April 4 - the deadline for bills to be passed in the regular session.  The Legislature will adjourn for their spring break - when the Governor reviews and signs bills - and will return for the veto session on April 30.  The 90th day of the 2014 Legislative Session is May 15, but legislative leaders have indicated that they hope to wrap-up before then.  

  • February 18, 2014 11:12 PM | Anonymous
    The Governor's Mental Health Task Force held its final meeting February 13.  Governor Sam Brownback, KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan, and KDHE Secretary Moser participated in the meeting.  The Task Force is expected to wrap up its report in March.

    The Task Force is essentially Phase 2 of the Governor's Mental Health Initiative announced in January 2013.  Phase 1 is the diversion of funding for new regional priorities conducted by five Regional Recovery Service Centers (RRSC).  The five regions are currently implementing their goals - see more information at http://www.kansasbehavioralhealthservices.org/bhs1.0/ 
  • October 22, 2013 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    [The Nation]

    Published on The Nation (http://www.thenation.com

    Suicide Rate Climbs by 30 Percent in Kansas as Government Slashes Mental Health Budgets 

    Allison Kilkenny | October 21, 2013

    [http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/255496/kansassuicides_wichitaeagle_img.jpg]

    (Wichita Eagle)

    The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently released a startling report<http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2012/AS_2012.pdf> [1](PDF) showing a 30 percent increase in suicides from 2011. Nationwide, the number of deaths by suicide surpassed the number of deaths by motor vehicle accidents<http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm?s_cid=mm6217a1_w> [2] in 2009, the most recent year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided data.

    The Wichita Eagle reports<http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/20/3068874/suicide-rate-climbs-by-30-percent.html#storylink=cpy> [3] that the largest increase in suicides in Kansas occurred among white males, who already were the segment of the population most likely to take their own lives. More than 80 percent of suicides in Kansas last year were men, like Scott Dennis, a 42-year-old fitness company owner.

    Last year, Dennis was busy getting ready for an industry convention in Las Vegas.

    Dennis had already paid for a $20,000 sponsored dinner, booked his flight, hotel and rental car and sent out some work e-mails.

    He showered and shaved. He packed his bag.

    “He wrote a note that said, ‘I can’t live like this anymore,’ and left his wallet and his watch on his desk, drove to Wal-Mart down the street and shot himself in the chest,” said Brook Phillips, a friend of Dennis for 35 years.

    Nationally, the CDC reported<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/suicide_05-03.html> [4] a spike in suicide rates in 2010 among the middle-aged, a 28 percent rise overall, a 40 percent jump among white Americans, and among men in their 50s, suicides increased by more than 48 percent. Guns remained the leading method used in all suicides, followed by poisoning, overdoses, and suffocation.

    Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC told PBS: “We don’t know what specifically is causing [the suicide spike], but the trend has been consistent, and if anything our numbers would underestimate the gravity of the problem.”

    Frieden also commented that more people die from prescription opiates today than from heroin and cocaine combined, and called alcohol a “significant contributor to depression and to mental health problems.”

    But many people consume opiates and alcohol to self-medicate, or to escape their dire economic circumstances. One popular theory floated to explain the suicide epidemic is that the recession has caused emotional trauma in individuals.

    Pat Smith<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/suicide-rate-rises-middle-aged_n_3203936.html> [5], the violence-prevention program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health, told The Huffington Post the recession may have pushed already troubled people over the edge. Being unable to find a job or settling for one with lower pay or prestige could add “that final weight to a whole chain of events,” she said.

    There does appear to be a correlation between the recession and increasing suicide rates. For example, calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline increased by 36 percent<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/suicide-rates-up-since-re_n_658668.html> [6] in 2008, and another 15 percent in 2009.

    Data compiled by The Wall Street Journal<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125892118623059701.html> [7] in late 2009 showed increases in several states. Of 19 states surveyed, 13 saw marginal increases in suicide rates. Tennessee had the highest rate of increase, with over 15 percent more suicides in 2008 than 2007. Across the 19 states, the average increase was 2.3 percent.

    And as The Huffington Post notes, this same trend was also seen during the Great Depression, when the suicide rate increased by 21 percent in the early 1930s (about 17 of every 100,000 people<http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/great-depression.htm> [8]).

    Even though there have been horrific stories in the news related to the nation’s poor mental health care of its citizens (Aaron Alexis’ attack in Washington’s Navy Yard and Miriam Carey’s murder by DC police), officials seem determined to continue slashing funding. From 2009 to 2011, states cut mental budgets by a combined $4 billion<http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/10/mental-health-loses-funding-as-government-continues-shutdown/> [9], the largest single combined reduction to mental health spending since de-institutionalization in the 1970s.

    In Chicago alone, state budget cuts combined with reductions in county and city mental health services led to shutting six of the city’s 12 mental health clinics, Forbes reports.

    Threats of sequestration<http://blog.usa.gov/post/44071444149/what-is-sequestration> [10] in 2013 had a significant impact on people’s ability to access mental health services and programs, including children’s mental health services, suicide prevention programs, homeless outreach programs, substance abuse treatment programs, housing and employment assistance, health research, and virtually every type of public mental health support. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration<http://www.samhsa.gov/> [11] (SAMHSA) claimed it alone would be cutting $168 million from its 2013 spending, including a reduction of $83.1 million in grants<http://careforyourmind.org/how-the-federal-government-sequestration-impacts-mental-health-services/> [12] for substance abuse treatment programs.

    Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!<https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&cds_page_id=122425&cds_response_key=I12SART1> [13]

    Since 2009, a community health center in Sedgwick County, Kansas, has lost 53 percent of its state funding, according to Marilyn Cook, executive director of Comcare of Sedwick County. She told The Wichita Eagle the county is trying to appeal to the state to replace some of that money.

    “This is a community problem and a public health problem, not just a mental health problem,” Cook said. “Treatment dollars have gone down and more and more people are coming to us, a growing number without any other payment for services.”

    She said they’ve seen an increase in the number of calls to the crisis program and more law enforcement officers have been trained in crisis intervention, which is a good thing, she said, but “without adequate funding, it’s difficult for us to get to everybody who needs care and help.”

    In 2012, Sedgwick County 911 dispatch received more than 2,400 calls related to suicide threats or attempts and more than 61,000 crisis phone calls for suicide risk or urgent mental health help.

    Liz McGinness, a member of the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition and a retired school psychologist and mental health crisis team director for USD 259, says the suicides may be related to social stigmas and the economy.

    “I think one of the biggest things we can rally around is reducing stigma and talking about getting help,” McGinness said.

    “There has been an uptick in suicides in middle-class, white professional men.… We do likely attribute that incidence as being related to the economy, for men particularly. So much of their identity is tied up in their job, and they lose their moorings.”

    Greg Kaufmann wrote about what defunding Obamacare<http://Even%20though%20suicide%20%20rates%20are%20climbing,%20the%20government%20continues%20to%20slash%20mental%20health%20%20budgets.> [14] really means for those in need.

    ________________________________

    Source URL: http://www.thenation.com/blog/176745/suicide-rate-climbs-30-percent-kansas-government-slashes-mental-health-budgets

    Links:

    [1] http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2012/AS_2012.pdf

    [2] http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm?s_cid=mm6217a1_w

    [3] http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/20/3068874/suicide-rate-climbs-by-30-percent.html#storylink=cpy

    [4] http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/suicide_05-03.html

    [5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/suicide-rate-rises-middle-aged_n_3203936.html

    [6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/suicide-rates-up-since-re_n_658668.html

    [7] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125892118623059701.html

    [8] http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/great-depression.htm

    [9] http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/10/mental-health-loses-funding-as-government-continues-shutdown/

    [10] http://blog.usa.gov/post/44071444149/what-is-sequestration

    [11] http://www.samhsa.gov/

    [12] http://careforyourmind.org/how-the-federal-government-sequestration-impacts-mental-health-services/

    [13] https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=122425&amp;cds_response_key=I12SART1

    [14] http://Even though suicide rates are climbing, the government continues to slash mental health budgets.


    [The Nation]

    Published on The Nation (http://www.thenation.com) ________________________________ Suicide Rate Climbs by 30 Percent in Kansas as Government Slashes Mental Health Budgets Allison Kilkenny | October 21, 2013

    [http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/255496/kansassuicides_wichitaeagle_img.jpg]

    (Wichita Eagle)

    The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently released a startling report<http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2012/AS_2012.pdf> [1](PDF) showing a 30 percent increase in suicides from 2011. Nationwide, the number of deaths by suicide surpassed the number of deaths by motor vehicle accidents<http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm?s_cid=mm6217a1_w> [2] in 2009, the most recent year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided data.

    The Wichita Eagle reports<http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/20/3068874/suicide-rate-climbs-by-30-percent.html#storylink=cpy> [3] that the largest increase in suicides in Kansas occurred among white males, who already were the segment of the population most likely to take their own lives. More than 80 percent of suicides in Kansas last year were men, like Scott Dennis, a 42-year-old fitness company owner.

    Last year, Dennis was busy getting ready for an industry convention in Las Vegas.

    Dennis had already paid for a $20,000 sponsored dinner, booked his flight, hotel and rental car and sent out some work e-mails.

    He showered and shaved. He packed his bag.

    “He wrote a note that said, ‘I can’t live like this anymore,’ and left his wallet and his watch on his desk, drove to Wal-Mart down the street and shot himself in the chest,” said Brook Phillips, a friend of Dennis for 35 years.

    Nationally, the CDC reported<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/suicide_05-03.html> [4] a spike in suicide rates in 2010 among the middle-aged, a 28 percent rise overall, a 40 percent jump among white Americans, and among men in their 50s, suicides increased by more than 48 percent. Guns remained the leading method used in all suicides, followed by poisoning, overdoses, and suffocation.

    Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC told PBS: “We don’t know what specifically is causing [the suicide spike], but the trend has been consistent, and if anything our numbers would underestimate the gravity of the problem.”

    Frieden also commented that more people die from prescription opiates today than from heroin and cocaine combined, and called alcohol a “significant contributor to depression and to mental health problems.”

    But many people consume opiates and alcohol to self-medicate, or to escape their dire economic circumstances. One popular theory floated to explain the suicide epidemic is that the recession has caused emotional trauma in individuals.

    Pat Smith<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/suicide-rate-rises-middle-aged_n_3203936.html> [5], the violence-prevention program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health, told The Huffington Post the recession may have pushed already troubled people over the edge. Being unable to find a job or settling for one with lower pay or prestige could add “that final weight to a whole chain of events,” she said.

    There does appear to be a correlation between the recession and increasing suicide rates. For example, calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline increased by 36 percent<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/suicide-rates-up-since-re_n_658668.html> [6] in 2008, and another 15 percent in 2009.

    Data compiled by The Wall Street Journal<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125892118623059701.html> [7] in late 2009 showed increases in several states. Of 19 states surveyed, 13 saw marginal increases in suicide rates. Tennessee had the highest rate of increase, with over 15 percent more suicides in 2008 than 2007. Across the 19 states, the average increase was 2.3 percent.

    And as The Huffington Post notes, this same trend was also seen during the Great Depression, when the suicide rate increased by 21 percent in the early 1930s (about 17 of every 100,000 people<http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/great-depression.htm> [8]).

    Even though there have been horrific stories in the news related to the nation’s poor mental health care of its citizens (Aaron Alexis’ attack in Washington’s Navy Yard and Miriam Carey’s murder by DC police), officials seem determined to continue slashing funding. From 2009 to 2011, states cut mental budgets by a combined $4 billion<http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/10/mental-health-loses-funding-as-government-continues-shutdown/> [9], the largest single combined reduction to mental health spending since de-institutionalization in the 1970s.

    In Chicago alone, state budget cuts combined with reductions in county and city mental health services led to shutting six of the city’s 12 mental health clinics, Forbes reports.

    Threats of sequestration<http://blog.usa.gov/post/44071444149/what-is-sequestration> [10] in 2013 had a significant impact on people’s ability to access mental health services and programs, including children’s mental health services, suicide prevention programs, homeless outreach programs, substance abuse treatment programs, housing and employment assistance, health research, and virtually every type of public mental health support. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration<http://www.samhsa.gov/> [11] (SAMHSA) claimed it alone would be cutting $168 million from its 2013 spending, including a reduction of $83.1 million in grants<http://careforyourmind.org/how-the-federal-government-sequestration-impacts-mental-health-services/> [12] for substance abuse treatment programs.

    Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!<https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&cds_page_id=122425&cds_response_key=I12SART1> [13]

    Since 2009, a community health center in Sedgwick County, Kansas, has lost 53 percent of its state funding, according to Marilyn Cook, executive director of Comcare of Sedwick County. She told The Wichita Eagle the county is trying to appeal to the state to replace some of that money.

    “This is a community problem and a public health problem, not just a mental health problem,” Cook said. “Treatment dollars have gone down and more and more people are coming to us, a growing number without any other payment for services.”

    She said they’ve seen an increase in the number of calls to the crisis program and more law enforcement officers have been trained in crisis intervention, which is a good thing, she said, but “without adequate funding, it’s difficult for us to get to everybody who needs care and help.”

    In 2012, Sedgwick County 911 dispatch received more than 2,400 calls related to suicide threats or attempts and more than 61,000 crisis phone calls for suicide risk or urgent mental health help.

    Liz McGinness, a member of the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition and a retired school psychologist and mental health crisis team director for USD 259, says the suicides may be related to social stigmas and the economy.

    “I think one of the biggest things we can rally around is reducing stigma and talking about getting help,” McGinness said.

    “There has been an uptick in suicides in middle-class, white professional men.… We do likely attribute that incidence as being related to the economy, for men particularly. So much of their identity is tied up in their job, and they lose their moorings.”

    Greg Kaufmann wrote about what defunding Obamacare<http://Even%20though%20suicide%20%20rates%20are%20climbing,%20the%20government%20continues%20to%20slash%20mental%20health%20%20budgets.> [14] really means for those in need.

    ________________________________

    Source URL: http://www.thenation.com/blog/176745/suicide-rate-climbs-30-percent-kansas-government-slashes-mental-health-budgets

    Links:

    [1] http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2012/AS_2012.pdf

    [2] http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm?s_cid=mm6217a1_w

    [3] http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/20/3068874/suicide-rate-climbs-by-30-percent.html#storylink=cpy

    [4] http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/suicide_05-03.html

    [5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/suicide-rate-rises-middle-aged_n_3203936.html

    [6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/suicide-rates-up-since-re_n_658668.html

    [7] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125892118623059701.html

    [8] http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/great-depression.htm

    [9] http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/10/mental-health-loses-funding-as-government-continues-shutdown/

    [10] http://blog.usa.gov/post/44071444149/what-is-sequestration

    [11] http://www.samhsa.gov/

    [12] http://careforyourmind.org/how-the-federal-government-sequestration-impacts-mental-health-services/

    [13] https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=122425&amp;cds_response_key=I12SART1

    [14] http://Even though suicide rates are climbing, the government continues to slash mental health budgets.

  • July 22, 2013 3:04 PM | Anonymous
     - Kansas Medicaid officials are preparing for a new phase of KanCare that will target services to the seriously mentally ill.

    They will be using a “health home” model that appears to be producing good undefined though preliminary undefined results in other states and which will allow Kansas to draw additional federal aid dollars as part of the Affordable Care Act.

    Among the goals of federal and state officials in using the model is to reduce emergency room visits and hospital readmissions among Medicaid enrollees.   Read KHI Article.

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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software