Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly today toured COMCARE of Sedgwick County Children’s Services to discuss how the pandemic has impacted COMCARE and other Community Mental Health Centers, and how her administration can help local partners increase access to mental health services for Kansans.
“The challenges brought on by the COVID-19 virus have led to an increased number of adults and children accessing mental health services at Community Mental Health Centers,” Governor Kelly said. “The staff at COMCARE, and all mental health professionals across Kansas, have met this influx of patients head on. They deserve our thanks for stepping up to aid those who seek their services.”
Governor Kelly said during the tour that expanding Medicaid, in addition to providing 150,000 Kansans access to quality, affordable care, would also increase funding for critical mental health services and facilities like COMCARE.
“Medicaid expansion isn’t just about helping thousands of Kansans get affordable health insurance or providing support for our rural hospitals, it will improve mental health care and services for Kansans who need them the most,” Governor Kelly said.
Joan Tammany, COMCARE Executive Director, lead Thursday’s tour of COMCARE Children’s Services.
“I appreciate Governor Kelly for visiting our children’s facility here in Wichita, and for her ongoing work to ensure Kansans have access to affordable mental health care,” Tammany said. “COMCARE is committed to providing the Sedgwick County community with the highest quality mental health and substance abuse services, and we look forward to partnering with Governor Kelly’s administration now and into the future to help those impacted by the pandemic.”
Andy Brown, Commissioner of Behavioral Health Services for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, also attended the tour.
“The mental health services provided by Kansas CMHCs, like COMCARE, provide a safety net for the newly uninsured impacted by COVID-19 job losses,” Brown said. “They stand ready to assist Kansans who are experiencing anxiety or depression related to the pandemic. Their work is essential and critical to our recovery efforts.”
Governor Kelly’s visit Thursday coincided with the beginning of National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, which is recognized in September each year.