Kansas receives $1 million to expand community-based mental health care

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Governor Laura Kelly announced that Kansas is receiving a $1 million one-year federal planning grant to support the transition of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) to become Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) ) capable of treating mental health crises and substance abuse through integrated physical-behavioral care.

Governor Kelly said the funding comes from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

In 2021, Governor Kelly signed Senate Replacement for House Bill 2208, which began the groundwork to modernize the state’s mental health system to meet the specific needs of the community. With this bill, Kansas became the first state to pass legislation identifying the CCBHC model as a solution to the mental health and substance use crisis. Since then, KDADS has transitioned the state’s 26 CMHCs to CCBHCs.

The CCBHC model is at the heart of the work my administration is doing to help Kansasans overcome addiction and improve mental health,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “With your funding, more Kansans – including more members of the armed forces and veterans – will receive mental health and substance use disorders treatment, primary care and intensive services in their own communities.”

Governor Kelly said CCBHCs are obligated to serve anyone who requests care, including developmentally appropriate care for children, mental health and substance use, regardless of ability to pay, place of residence or age.

Governor Kelly said Kansas has been developing its CCBHC program since 2021 in cooperation with the state’s 26 Community Mental Health Centers. KDADS applied for the SAMHSA Cooperative Agreements for CCBHC Planning Grant in December 2022. Funding for the opportunity was made available through the Bipartisan Sager Communities Act, which builds on the $300 million awarded in September 2022 to new and existing CCBHCs to expand access.

What they are saying:

“CCBHCs can help transform communities across Kansas by providing timely access to comprehensive behavioral and mental care,” said Kansas Senator Roger Marshall. “I value how CCBHCs work collaboratively with hospitals to intervene and reduce emergency department visits and help law enforcement respond to individuals suffering from a behavioral health crisis. I applaud the state legislature for laying the groundwork and passing comprehensive legislation to increase the number of CCBHCs in the state and congratulate KDADS and KDHE on being one of 15 states selected to participate in this pilot program. This has been a collaborative effort since we extended the federal pilot program in December 2020. I will continue to assist state agencies and CCBHCs to successfully serve those in need in Kansas.”

“I believe that all of Kansan should have access to affordable healthcare, and that absolutely includes mental health. Certified community behavioral health clinics provide essential services to keep our communities healthy and safe, and now that this federal program has expanded to Kansas, our network of centers will be able to expand its reach to everyone who needs help, regardless of financial situation. Representative Sharice Davids, (KS-03) said. “I am proud to have voted for this federal grant and know it will help many in Kansas in need.”

“We are honored to be one of 15 states receiving this planning grant and want to recognize the reach and support our application received from the Kansas Congressional delegation. This is the first step towards Kansas finally being selected as one of 10 for SAMHSA’s CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration Project,” said Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard. “Participating in this project would highlight the significant work Kansas has done to strengthen and transform the state’s behavioral health system, one community at a time, and hold us up as an example to the rest of the nation.”

I am extremely thrilled to learn that KDADS is the recipient of the $1 million dollar donation. Helping our mental health centers move more quickly to the CCBHC model means more Kansans will have access to mental health services,” said Senator Pat Pettey of Kanas, Kansas Senate District 6 and minority member of the Public Health Committee and Senate Welfare.

“Kansas being selected as one of 15 states to receive planning grants announced today from SAMHSA puts us on a closer path to ensuring easier access to comprehensive mental health and substance use treatment services across the state,” Kansas Representative Brenda Landwehr, Kansas House District 105 and Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, said. “I’m grateful for the bipartisan leadership we’ve had here in Kansas that made this funding a reality and proud to be able to say that Kansas was a leader on this front and was the first state to put the CCBHC model into statute. I will continue to support and advance Kansas’ ability to transform how individuals suffering from a substance use or behavioral health crisis access mental health services.”

“The CCBHC grants we are receiving from the federal government will help us build additional infrastructure for the mental health safety net in Kansas,” said Kyle Kessler, executive director of the Kansas Association of Community Mental Health Centers. “Any proceeds devoted to our investment in CCBHC solidify the work done by community mental health centers and our partners in the executive and legislative branches of government and support our state-designed system.”

“Kansas has been a leader in the CCBHC arena, releasing its first CCBHCs nearly a year ago. This planning grant will allow the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services to build on its success and help promote a better integration of primary care and behavioral health,” said Kansas Department of Health and Environment Medicaid Director, Sarah Fertig. “This award would not have been possible without close partnerships with suppliers and the support of our Congressional delegation.”

Kansas receives $1 million to expand community-based mental health care

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