The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has signed contracts to provide funding to Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) in Salina and Manhattan for the creation of two new crisis stabilization facilities to care for individuals experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis.
“Kansas communities face the continual challenge of helping those who are struggling with mental illness as families deal with the ongoing anxiety of trying to maintain stability and safety, while also meeting the needs of their mentally ill loved ones,” Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., said. “Crisis services such as these will allow communities to divert those in mental crisis from emergency rooms, county jails and the state hospitals to a setting where they can be properly cared for and diagnosed.”
“We believe these new centers will significantly improve care for the mentally ill in their communities, and comfort their families as well,” said KDADS Secretary Tim Keck. “We hope to expand this community-based care model to more parts of Kansas in the near future. It has worked well beyond our expectations in the Kansas City metro area, Topeka and South-Central Kansas, and we believe it will be equally as successful in these very different and more rural areas.”
Kyle Kessler, Executive Director for the Association of Community Mental Health Centers, said “The leadership by Governor Colyer and Secretary Keck in supporting the existing community crisis centers and establishing these new ones has been very valuable to our state’s mental health system.”
“Key partnerships among community stakeholders and legislators were also major factors in creating these programs that provide a ‘port of calm’ for individuals who need something more than outpatient treatment but not quite an admission to a state mental health hospital,” Kessler added.
With funding flexibility provided through the CMHCs, KDADS has contracted with Central Kansas Mental Health Center in Salina to serve Saline, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Lincoln and Ottawa counties, and Pawnee Mental Health Services in Manhattan to serve Riley, Potawatomie, Geary, Clay, Cloud, Washington, Republic, Mitchell and Jewell counties.
Crisis stabilization units are a direct response to the need of persons with mental health and substance use problems to be treated in a less restrictive setting. They offer individuals in crisis a continuum of assessment and stabilization services in a single location and provide them ongoing access to other community-based services.
Individuals experiencing a crisis will be served and supported in their local community, which is more desirable for patients and their families. In addition, these units relieve law enforcement and county jails of the need to provide individuals with a kind of care they are often not equipped to deliver. The ability to treat individuals in the community rather than transferring them to one of the state hospitals for inpatient care is a cost-effective way to get them the care they need.
KDADS is providing $85,000 to fund the facility in Salina, and $725,000 for the Manhattan facility.