HB 2208 increases access to mental health care in Kansas

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KANSAS — The passing of House Bill 2208 in the state of Kansas has changed the game for mental health accessibility.

What does this mean for Crawford County?

Put simply, this is designed to help mental health organizations expand their services throughout the state. They’ll have access to resources to head into the communities which need their help the most.

Michael Ehling, Crawford County Mental Health Center Executive Admin, said, “It entirely changed the mental health system in the state of Kansas.”

Changing the game by making resources accessible. Kansas legislation established the certified community behavioral health clinic model. Following this, places like the Crawford County Mental Health Center, will have access to funds to help expand its services.

“It’s to take services to clients where they are, but also to create a financial support system to support that expansion of mental health services to communities. But It’s also going to create a 24/7 crisis mobile services.”

This is only part of the plan. They won’t only be going out into Crawford County, but they’ll establish new programs for those who need it.

“Going to jails, going to schools, we’ve already been in schools for a long period of time, but going to more places where people need the services as opposed to expecting them to come to you.”

County officials hope these new resources will help with the projects already in progress.

Danny Smith, Crawford County Sheriff, said, “The ‘Step-It-Up’ initiative is going to allocate resources towards individuals that are having mental health illnesses that are incarcerated in jails.”

To help everyone have the care they need.

“We’re in the very beginnings, we’re pretty excited about it because we definitely need these resources and at the local level I think it’s going to give us some assets to help the individuals that need the help.”

The Crawford County Mental Health Center is working on adjusting its existing operations to meet this new model. So when they do apply, they’ll be able to streamline their funds into these new services.

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