mental health

Phil Cauthon for KHI News Service

Kansas officials are hoping that a pilot program will help relieve pressure on the Osawatomie State Hospital. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, the program will provide “transitional care” to some patients being dismissed from the state’s largest mental health hospital.

Officials at the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services say there are several patients at Osawatomie who are no longer a danger to themselves or others but who aren’t ready to live independently.

Subconsci Productions / flickr Creative Commons

A mental health clinic in Wichita is now offering primary health care for its patients.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County’s Comcare is the state’s largest community mental health agency, and has been helping people with mental illness or substance use disorder for more than 50 years.

Comcare expanded its crisis services last year, and created a model of care that officials say is exceeding expectations. Deborah Shaar reports on the agency’s Community Crisis Center.

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas mental health providers say funding cuts and stalled contract negotiations with the state are hindering their ability to provide care.

They're sounding the alarm on how Medicaid rate cuts and contract disputes are affecting care.

Sedgwickcounty.org

Sedgwick County’s community mental health program Comcare is working to bring services for substance abuse patients into its Community Crisis Center in downtown Wichita.

Renovations to the 24-hour Community Crisis Center on North Main are expected to be complete next week. Then, the Substance Abuse Center of Kansas will move its detox and sobering unit into the building.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

The second-in-command at the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services told mental health advocates last week that Osawatomie State Hospital is well-prepared going into a high-stakes federal inspection Tuesday.

The Osawatomie hospital is one of two inpatient state facilities for Kansans with severe mental illness. KDADS Secretary Tim Keck visited the other facility in Larned last Wednesday.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Experts from a variety of fields gathered Wednesday at the Kansas Statehouse for a mental health symposium spurred by an Emporia hospital’s struggle last year to find a psychiatric care bed for a suicidal patient.

House Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast, a Republican from Emporia, said she was inspired to convene the symposium after hearing from officials at Newman Regional Health.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County’s community mental health center Comcare will be getting support for its operations through a partnership with a new nonprofit.

iStock illustration

Years of problems at Osawatomie State Hospital reached a crisis point in the fall of 2015, when the sexual assault of a hospital employee by a patient triggered two failed inspections and the loss of federal funding.

Megan Hart / Heartland Health Monitor/File Photo

In the years between World War II and John F. Kennedy’s presidency, Kansas transformed its mental health system. Building what had been among the nation’s worst into one of the best. A new round of reforms rejuvenated the system in the early 1990s. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, the failure of successive governors and legislatures to fund those reforms is now threatening to reverse years of progress and the future of the state’s largest mental health hospital.

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