Kansas receives $1 million to expand community-based mental health care
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly announced 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 and substance abuse crises through integrated physical-behavioral care.
Governor Kelly said the funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
In 2021, Governor Kelly signed Senate Substitute for House Bill 2208, which started the groundwork to modernize the state’s mental health system to meet community-specific needs. With that 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 core of the work my administration is doing to help Kansans overcome addiction and improve mental health,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “With his funding, more Kansans — including more members of the military and veterans — will receive mental health and substance use disorder treatment, primary care, and intensive services in their own communities.”
Governor Kelly said CCBHCs are required 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 upon the $300 million awarded in September 2022 for new and existing CCBHCs to expand access.
What they’re saying:
“CCBHCs can help transform communities across Kansas by providing timely access to comprehensive behavioral and mental care,” Kansas Senator Roger Marshall said. “I value how CCBHCs work collaboratively with hospitals to step in and reduce emergency department visits and aid law enforcement officers in responding 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 for 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’ll continue to assist the state agencies and CCBHCs, so they successfully serve Kansans in need.”
“I believe every Kansan should have access to affordable health care, 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 their reach to all who need help—regardless of financial situation,” Representative Sharice Davids, (KS-03), said. “I’m proud to have voted for this federal funding and I know it will help many Kansans in need.”
“We are honored to be one of the 15 states receiving this planning grant and want to recognize the outreach and support our application received from the Kansas congressional delegation. This is the first step toward Kansas ultimately being selected as one of 10 to SAMHSA’s CCBHC Medicaid Demonstration project,” Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard said. “Participation in that project would highlight the significant work Kansas has put into strengthening and transforming the state’s behavioral health system one community at a time and hold us up as an example for the rest of the nation.”
“I am extremely thrilled to learn that KDADS is the recipient of the $1 million dollar grant. Helping our mental health centers move more quickly into the CCBHC model means that more Kansans will have access to mental health services,” Kanas Senator Pat Pettey, Kansas Senate District 6 and Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare, said.
“Kansas being selected as one of 15 states to receive today’s announced planning grants from SAMHSA puts us on a path closer to ensuring easier access to comprehensive mental health and substance use treatment services statewide,” Kansas Representative Brenda Landwehr, Kansas House District 105 and Chair of the House Committee on Health and Human Services, said. “I am grateful for the bipartisan leadership we had here in Kansas that made this funding a reality and proud to be able to say 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 promote Kansas’ ability to transform how individuals suffering from a behavioral health or substance use 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,” Kyle Kessler, Executive Director of the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, said. “Any resources that go toward our CCBHC investment 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, launching its first CCBHCs almost a year ago. This planning grant will allow the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services to build on its success and help drive better integration of primary care and behavioral health,” Kansas Department for Health and Environment Medicaid Director Sarah Fertig said. “This award would not be possible without close partnerships with providers and the support of our congressional delegation.”
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