RIVERTON, Kan. — Mental health centers in Riverton and Pittsburg received grants from a foundation administered by the Kansas attorney general’s office to upgrade their services.
The Spring River Mental Health and Wellness Center in Riverton was awarded $10,000, and the Crawford County Mental Health Center in Pittsburg was awarded $7,640, each to assist with the transition or implementation of requirements to receive the designation of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic.
The grants were two of 12 awarded across Kansas, according to a news release sent out Monday by Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office.
Schmidt’s office said the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model is being implemented in Kansas and will provide more resources to participating clinics and improve the care the clinics are able to provide to Kansas residents.
Stacy Manbeck, executive director of the Spring River Mental Health and Wellness Center in Riverton, said the state is changing from a Community Mental Health Service model to the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model.
“One of the things it allows us to do is expand our services,” Manbeck said. “It allows us to expand our array of services to the community, and it also provides us with a sustainable funding mechanism through a prospective payment system, which then provides additional resources for our ability to recruit and retain a workforce and build our capacity to implement new programs.”
Manbeck said the change will allow the state to bring more federal Medicaid dollars to Kansas to provide that sustainable funding.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model is designed to ensure access to coordinated comprehensive behavioral health care.
Under that model, clinics are required to serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use, regardless of their ability to pay, place of residence, or age, including developmentally appropriate care for children and youth.
Manbeck said the current system allows them to provide services to anyone regardless of the ability to pay, but some of those services will change.
“We will be focusing more on evidence-based practices and outcomes for clients and hopefully decreasing their stays or visits to emergency departments and law enforcement facilities, incarceration and those types of things,” Manbeck said. “So our goal is to increase our services and decrease visits” at higher levels of care.
The Department of Health and Human Services said an important feature of the new model is that it requires crisis services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Clinic with the new designation are required to provide a comprehensive array of behavioral health services so that people who need care are not forced to try to piece together the behavioral health support they need across multiple providers.
Manbeck said the change will allow mental health centers in Kansas to expand their community outreach and serve more people who need mental health and substance-use disorder services.
“We are very excited about this opportunity. We are very grateful for the state and the legislative support and those of our community partners across the state for helping us move in this direction for the state of Kansas,” she said. “I think for Kansas this is going to be a wonderful opportunity for our mental health and substance-use disorder system, and the ability to expand and serve more people and help them become more physically healthy.”
The Tower Mental Health Foundation of Kansas was created as a result of an agreement between the attorney general’s office and the Menninger Foundation in 2007. It offers support to organizations that provide mental health services in Kansas.
Funding for this grant cycle was provided in part by the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansas, a Topeka-based philanthropic organization with the mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans. Sunflower and Tower each provided 50% of the grant funds.