mental health

Kansas News Service file photo

Update Thursday, 11:23 a.m.: In final action, House Bill 2064 passed the House 81-44. It now goes on to the Senate.

Supporters of expanding Medicaid eligibility to more low-income Kansans succeeded Wednesday in a last-gasp effort to advance a bill, overpowering opponents who thought they had blocked it earlier in the week.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. Two-thirds of adults with depression do not receive any treatment, and depressive disorders are the cause of more than two-thirds of suicides each year.

The head basketball coach at Newman University in Wichita was able to successfully combat the disorder and get back out on the court.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service

A key Kansas lawmaker says the state doesn’t have the money to fix problems in its mental health system, which a new report says are getting steadily worse.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas’ two state-run psychiatric hospitals would lose nearly $20 million under the budget proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

In the current fiscal year, Osawatomie and Larned state hospitals are relying on state funds to make up for the loss of federal funding. Brownback’s recommendations for the fiscal year that starts in July would end that practice, leaving it to the hospitals to make up the lost revenue.

Kansas News Service/File

Some Kansas lawmakers hope allowing community-based rehabilitation programs to bill Medicaid for their services will help more people with mental illnesses find work.

TRAVIS MORISSE / HUTCHINSON NEWS

Every day, hundreds of Kansans with serious mental illnesses receive treatment in communities, state psychiatric hospitals or nursing facilities. But when a person with a serious mental illness slips through the growing gaps in the system, the results can be deadly.

This story examines how Brandon Brown, a Kansas man with schizophrenia, moved through the state’s mental health system — and how that system may have failed him and the man he murdered.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

A new effort is underway to get more mental health services in rural areas of Kansas.

Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill designed to increase mental health services and get more psychiatrists into practice in underserved areas of the state.

The Kansas Psychiatric Society says all but five counties in Kansas have mental health professional shortages.

The idea is for the state to provide loans to medical students who agree to practice psychiatry in counties other than Douglas, Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee or Wyandotte.

55Laney69, flickr Creative Commons

As part of a four-year, $9 million System of Care federal grant, Wichita State's Center for Behavioral Health Initiatives (CBHI) at WSU's Community Engagement Institute is working to help children with serious emotional disturbances. The CBHI will also be contracting with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disabilities Services.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

In tight budget times, Kansas mental health advocates are turning to the lottery for some financial help.

Kyle Kessler, executive director of the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, said the association will ask the Legislature to commit an additional $31 million over the next two fiscal years for the centers. That $31 million — pulled from Kansas lottery proceeds — would return funding for the 26 centers across the state to the 2007 fiscal year level.

Sedgwickcounty.org

Mental health professionals are seeing a decrease in the number of suicides in Sedgwick County, and more people are seeking help.

In 2014, there were 82 suicides in Sedgwick County. Last year, that number went down to 68. Nearly 75 percent of the suicides in 2015 were men – mostly middle-aged.

Deidre Helm is the program manager of Comcare’s Community Crisis Center, which is open 24 hours a day in downtown Wichita. Helm says more people are seeking help from the center and online.

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