KDADS receives $10 mil grant toward integrated primary, behavioral healthcare

A $10 million grant has been awarded to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services so the department can integrate primary & behavioral healthcare.
Updated: Sep. 11, 2023 at 9:45 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A $10 million grant has been awarded to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) so the department can integrate primary and behavioral health care because one’s physical well-being can have a profound impact on one’s behavioral health needs.

According to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s office, the project will address particular needs and goals such as:

  • Reduce barriers to accessing integrated physical and behavioral health care.
  • Increase the capacity for integrated care by implementing evidence-based practices to reduce the proportion of adults and youth with nicotine use disorder and other SUDs.
  • Decrease the frequency of suicidal ideation through collaborative supports and services that address physical, behavioral, and health-related social needs.
  • Improve access to oral health care services through screening and referrals.
  • Develop a robust state infrastructure to implement and establish an integrated care model across Kansas.

This integrated healthcare project is estimated to serve 8,850 Kansans over the next five years, averaging 1,770 Kansans annually. The primary behavioral health conditions to be served include:

  • Adults with serious mental illness (SMI).
  • Children with serious emotional disturbance (SED).
  • Persons with substance use disorders (SUD).
  • Persons with co-occurring SMI and SUD.

“Mental and physical health can’t be separated, and neither should mental and physical health care,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “With this grant, my administration will work closely with partners across the state to improve our health care systems so that they serve the whole person.”

The governor’s office said that KDADS will partner with four Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or FQHC look-a-likes and one Rural Health Clinic (RHC) to integrate primary care with behavioral health services, in consultation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Community Care.

“Expanding programs and introducing new programs to fund and support the mental health needs of people across the state has been a top priority of the Kelly administration since day one,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said. “Investments like these from federal grant opportunities help us meet the needs of both adults and children where they are, and oftentimes, that is the first person we turn to and trust – a primary care physician. This project will allow us to marry mental health and primary care health and open more doors to services.”

Other partners in this project include: