Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

News

Welcome to our News page for organization news, articles and other information.  Please sign in to post comments.  Members are welcome to submit articles or announcements from their own organizations for posting on our News page.  Simply email us and include "Post to Website" in the memo line.  There may be some delay, but we will post your news as soon as possible.

The Kansas Mental Health Coalition retains the right to edit or restrict all content, including news items and comments.

<< First  < Prev   ...   5   6   7   8   9   Next >  Last >> 
  • February 18, 2014 11:12 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)
    The Governor's Mental Health Task Force held its final meeting February 13.  Governor Sam Brownback, KDADS Secretary Shawn Sullivan, and KDHE Secretary Moser participated in the meeting.  The Task Force is expected to wrap up its report in March.

    The Task Force is essentially Phase 2 of the Governor's Mental Health Initiative announced in January 2013.  Phase 1 is the diversion of funding for new regional priorities conducted by five Regional Recovery Service Centers (RRSC).  The five regions are currently implementing their goals - see more information at http://www.kansasbehavioralhealthservices.org/bhs1.0/ 
  • October 22, 2013 10:58 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    [The Nation]

    Published on The Nation (http://www.thenation.com

    Suicide Rate Climbs by 30 Percent in Kansas as Government Slashes Mental Health Budgets 

    Allison Kilkenny | October 21, 2013

    [http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/255496/kansassuicides_wichitaeagle_img.jpg]

    (Wichita Eagle)

    The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently released a startling report<http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2012/AS_2012.pdf> [1](PDF) showing a 30 percent increase in suicides from 2011. Nationwide, the number of deaths by suicide surpassed the number of deaths by motor vehicle accidents<http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm?s_cid=mm6217a1_w> [2] in 2009, the most recent year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided data.

    The Wichita Eagle reports<http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/20/3068874/suicide-rate-climbs-by-30-percent.html#storylink=cpy> [3] that the largest increase in suicides in Kansas occurred among white males, who already were the segment of the population most likely to take their own lives. More than 80 percent of suicides in Kansas last year were men, like Scott Dennis, a 42-year-old fitness company owner.

    Last year, Dennis was busy getting ready for an industry convention in Las Vegas.

    Dennis had already paid for a $20,000 sponsored dinner, booked his flight, hotel and rental car and sent out some work e-mails.

    He showered and shaved. He packed his bag.

    “He wrote a note that said, ‘I can’t live like this anymore,’ and left his wallet and his watch on his desk, drove to Wal-Mart down the street and shot himself in the chest,” said Brook Phillips, a friend of Dennis for 35 years.

    Nationally, the CDC reported<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/suicide_05-03.html> [4] a spike in suicide rates in 2010 among the middle-aged, a 28 percent rise overall, a 40 percent jump among white Americans, and among men in their 50s, suicides increased by more than 48 percent. Guns remained the leading method used in all suicides, followed by poisoning, overdoses, and suffocation.

    Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC told PBS: “We don’t know what specifically is causing [the suicide spike], but the trend has been consistent, and if anything our numbers would underestimate the gravity of the problem.”

    Frieden also commented that more people die from prescription opiates today than from heroin and cocaine combined, and called alcohol a “significant contributor to depression and to mental health problems.”

    But many people consume opiates and alcohol to self-medicate, or to escape their dire economic circumstances. One popular theory floated to explain the suicide epidemic is that the recession has caused emotional trauma in individuals.

    Pat Smith<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/suicide-rate-rises-middle-aged_n_3203936.html> [5], the violence-prevention program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health, told The Huffington Post the recession may have pushed already troubled people over the edge. Being unable to find a job or settling for one with lower pay or prestige could add “that final weight to a whole chain of events,” she said.

    There does appear to be a correlation between the recession and increasing suicide rates. For example, calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline increased by 36 percent<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/suicide-rates-up-since-re_n_658668.html> [6] in 2008, and another 15 percent in 2009.

    Data compiled by The Wall Street Journal<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125892118623059701.html> [7] in late 2009 showed increases in several states. Of 19 states surveyed, 13 saw marginal increases in suicide rates. Tennessee had the highest rate of increase, with over 15 percent more suicides in 2008 than 2007. Across the 19 states, the average increase was 2.3 percent.

    And as The Huffington Post notes, this same trend was also seen during the Great Depression, when the suicide rate increased by 21 percent in the early 1930s (about 17 of every 100,000 people<http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/great-depression.htm> [8]).

    Even though there have been horrific stories in the news related to the nation’s poor mental health care of its citizens (Aaron Alexis’ attack in Washington’s Navy Yard and Miriam Carey’s murder by DC police), officials seem determined to continue slashing funding. From 2009 to 2011, states cut mental budgets by a combined $4 billion<http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/10/mental-health-loses-funding-as-government-continues-shutdown/> [9], the largest single combined reduction to mental health spending since de-institutionalization in the 1970s.

    In Chicago alone, state budget cuts combined with reductions in county and city mental health services led to shutting six of the city’s 12 mental health clinics, Forbes reports.

    Threats of sequestration<http://blog.usa.gov/post/44071444149/what-is-sequestration> [10] in 2013 had a significant impact on people’s ability to access mental health services and programs, including children’s mental health services, suicide prevention programs, homeless outreach programs, substance abuse treatment programs, housing and employment assistance, health research, and virtually every type of public mental health support. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration<http://www.samhsa.gov/> [11] (SAMHSA) claimed it alone would be cutting $168 million from its 2013 spending, including a reduction of $83.1 million in grants<http://careforyourmind.org/how-the-federal-government-sequestration-impacts-mental-health-services/> [12] for substance abuse treatment programs.

    Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!<https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&cds_page_id=122425&cds_response_key=I12SART1> [13]

    Since 2009, a community health center in Sedgwick County, Kansas, has lost 53 percent of its state funding, according to Marilyn Cook, executive director of Comcare of Sedwick County. She told The Wichita Eagle the county is trying to appeal to the state to replace some of that money.

    “This is a community problem and a public health problem, not just a mental health problem,” Cook said. “Treatment dollars have gone down and more and more people are coming to us, a growing number without any other payment for services.”

    She said they’ve seen an increase in the number of calls to the crisis program and more law enforcement officers have been trained in crisis intervention, which is a good thing, she said, but “without adequate funding, it’s difficult for us to get to everybody who needs care and help.”

    In 2012, Sedgwick County 911 dispatch received more than 2,400 calls related to suicide threats or attempts and more than 61,000 crisis phone calls for suicide risk or urgent mental health help.

    Liz McGinness, a member of the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition and a retired school psychologist and mental health crisis team director for USD 259, says the suicides may be related to social stigmas and the economy.

    “I think one of the biggest things we can rally around is reducing stigma and talking about getting help,” McGinness said.

    “There has been an uptick in suicides in middle-class, white professional men.… We do likely attribute that incidence as being related to the economy, for men particularly. So much of their identity is tied up in their job, and they lose their moorings.”

    Greg Kaufmann wrote about what defunding Obamacare<http://Even%20though%20suicide%20%20rates%20are%20climbing,%20the%20government%20continues%20to%20slash%20mental%20health%20%20budgets.> [14] really means for those in need.

    ________________________________

    Source URL: http://www.thenation.com/blog/176745/suicide-rate-climbs-30-percent-kansas-government-slashes-mental-health-budgets

    Links:

    [1] http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2012/AS_2012.pdf

    [2] http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm?s_cid=mm6217a1_w

    [3] http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/20/3068874/suicide-rate-climbs-by-30-percent.html#storylink=cpy

    [4] http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/suicide_05-03.html

    [5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/suicide-rate-rises-middle-aged_n_3203936.html

    [6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/suicide-rates-up-since-re_n_658668.html

    [7] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125892118623059701.html

    [8] http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/great-depression.htm

    [9] http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/10/mental-health-loses-funding-as-government-continues-shutdown/

    [10] http://blog.usa.gov/post/44071444149/what-is-sequestration

    [11] http://www.samhsa.gov/

    [12] http://careforyourmind.org/how-the-federal-government-sequestration-impacts-mental-health-services/

    [13] https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=122425&amp;cds_response_key=I12SART1

    [14] http://Even though suicide rates are climbing, the government continues to slash mental health budgets.


    [The Nation]

    Published on The Nation (http://www.thenation.com) ________________________________ Suicide Rate Climbs by 30 Percent in Kansas as Government Slashes Mental Health Budgets Allison Kilkenny | October 21, 2013

    [http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/255496/kansassuicides_wichitaeagle_img.jpg]

    (Wichita Eagle)

    The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently released a startling report<http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2012/AS_2012.pdf> [1](PDF) showing a 30 percent increase in suicides from 2011. Nationwide, the number of deaths by suicide surpassed the number of deaths by motor vehicle accidents<http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm?s_cid=mm6217a1_w> [2] in 2009, the most recent year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided data.

    The Wichita Eagle reports<http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/20/3068874/suicide-rate-climbs-by-30-percent.html#storylink=cpy> [3] that the largest increase in suicides in Kansas occurred among white males, who already were the segment of the population most likely to take their own lives. More than 80 percent of suicides in Kansas last year were men, like Scott Dennis, a 42-year-old fitness company owner.

    Last year, Dennis was busy getting ready for an industry convention in Las Vegas.

    Dennis had already paid for a $20,000 sponsored dinner, booked his flight, hotel and rental car and sent out some work e-mails.

    He showered and shaved. He packed his bag.

    “He wrote a note that said, ‘I can’t live like this anymore,’ and left his wallet and his watch on his desk, drove to Wal-Mart down the street and shot himself in the chest,” said Brook Phillips, a friend of Dennis for 35 years.

    Nationally, the CDC reported<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/suicide_05-03.html> [4] a spike in suicide rates in 2010 among the middle-aged, a 28 percent rise overall, a 40 percent jump among white Americans, and among men in their 50s, suicides increased by more than 48 percent. Guns remained the leading method used in all suicides, followed by poisoning, overdoses, and suffocation.

    Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC told PBS: “We don’t know what specifically is causing [the suicide spike], but the trend has been consistent, and if anything our numbers would underestimate the gravity of the problem.”

    Frieden also commented that more people die from prescription opiates today than from heroin and cocaine combined, and called alcohol a “significant contributor to depression and to mental health problems.”

    But many people consume opiates and alcohol to self-medicate, or to escape their dire economic circumstances. One popular theory floated to explain the suicide epidemic is that the recession has caused emotional trauma in individuals.

    Pat Smith<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/suicide-rate-rises-middle-aged_n_3203936.html> [5], the violence-prevention program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Community Health, told The Huffington Post the recession may have pushed already troubled people over the edge. Being unable to find a job or settling for one with lower pay or prestige could add “that final weight to a whole chain of events,” she said.

    There does appear to be a correlation between the recession and increasing suicide rates. For example, calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline increased by 36 percent<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/suicide-rates-up-since-re_n_658668.html> [6] in 2008, and another 15 percent in 2009.

    Data compiled by The Wall Street Journal<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125892118623059701.html> [7] in late 2009 showed increases in several states. Of 19 states surveyed, 13 saw marginal increases in suicide rates. Tennessee had the highest rate of increase, with over 15 percent more suicides in 2008 than 2007. Across the 19 states, the average increase was 2.3 percent.

    And as The Huffington Post notes, this same trend was also seen during the Great Depression, when the suicide rate increased by 21 percent in the early 1930s (about 17 of every 100,000 people<http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/great-depression.htm> [8]).

    Even though there have been horrific stories in the news related to the nation’s poor mental health care of its citizens (Aaron Alexis’ attack in Washington’s Navy Yard and Miriam Carey’s murder by DC police), officials seem determined to continue slashing funding. From 2009 to 2011, states cut mental budgets by a combined $4 billion<http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/10/mental-health-loses-funding-as-government-continues-shutdown/> [9], the largest single combined reduction to mental health spending since de-institutionalization in the 1970s.

    In Chicago alone, state budget cuts combined with reductions in county and city mental health services led to shutting six of the city’s 12 mental health clinics, Forbes reports.

    Threats of sequestration<http://blog.usa.gov/post/44071444149/what-is-sequestration> [10] in 2013 had a significant impact on people’s ability to access mental health services and programs, including children’s mental health services, suicide prevention programs, homeless outreach programs, substance abuse treatment programs, housing and employment assistance, health research, and virtually every type of public mental health support. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration<http://www.samhsa.gov/> [11] (SAMHSA) claimed it alone would be cutting $168 million from its 2013 spending, including a reduction of $83.1 million in grants<http://careforyourmind.org/how-the-federal-government-sequestration-impacts-mental-health-services/> [12] for substance abuse treatment programs.

    Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!<https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&cds_page_id=122425&cds_response_key=I12SART1> [13]

    Since 2009, a community health center in Sedgwick County, Kansas, has lost 53 percent of its state funding, according to Marilyn Cook, executive director of Comcare of Sedwick County. She told The Wichita Eagle the county is trying to appeal to the state to replace some of that money.

    “This is a community problem and a public health problem, not just a mental health problem,” Cook said. “Treatment dollars have gone down and more and more people are coming to us, a growing number without any other payment for services.”

    She said they’ve seen an increase in the number of calls to the crisis program and more law enforcement officers have been trained in crisis intervention, which is a good thing, she said, but “without adequate funding, it’s difficult for us to get to everybody who needs care and help.”

    In 2012, Sedgwick County 911 dispatch received more than 2,400 calls related to suicide threats or attempts and more than 61,000 crisis phone calls for suicide risk or urgent mental health help.

    Liz McGinness, a member of the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition and a retired school psychologist and mental health crisis team director for USD 259, says the suicides may be related to social stigmas and the economy.

    “I think one of the biggest things we can rally around is reducing stigma and talking about getting help,” McGinness said.

    “There has been an uptick in suicides in middle-class, white professional men.… We do likely attribute that incidence as being related to the economy, for men particularly. So much of their identity is tied up in their job, and they lose their moorings.”

    Greg Kaufmann wrote about what defunding Obamacare<http://Even%20though%20suicide%20%20rates%20are%20climbing,%20the%20government%20continues%20to%20slash%20mental%20health%20%20budgets.> [14] really means for those in need.

    ________________________________

    Source URL: http://www.thenation.com/blog/176745/suicide-rate-climbs-30-percent-kansas-government-slashes-mental-health-budgets

    Links:

    [1] http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/as/2012/AS_2012.pdf

    [2] http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6217a1.htm?s_cid=mm6217a1_w

    [3] http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/20/3068874/suicide-rate-climbs-by-30-percent.html#storylink=cpy

    [4] http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/suicide_05-03.html

    [5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/suicide-rate-rises-middle-aged_n_3203936.html

    [6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/26/suicide-rates-up-since-re_n_658668.html

    [7] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125892118623059701.html

    [8] http://www.nps.gov/archive/elro/glossary/great-depression.htm

    [9] http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/10/mental-health-loses-funding-as-government-continues-shutdown/

    [10] http://blog.usa.gov/post/44071444149/what-is-sequestration

    [11] http://www.samhsa.gov/

    [12] http://careforyourmind.org/how-the-federal-government-sequestration-impacts-mental-health-services/

    [13] https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=122425&amp;cds_response_key=I12SART1

    [14] http://Even though suicide rates are climbing, the government continues to slash mental health budgets.

  • July 22, 2013 3:04 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)
     - Kansas Medicaid officials are preparing for a new phase of KanCare that will target services to the seriously mentally ill.

    They will be using a “health home” model that appears to be producing good undefined though preliminary undefined results in other states and which will allow Kansas to draw additional federal aid dollars as part of the Affordable Care Act.

    Among the goals of federal and state officials in using the model is to reduce emergency room visits and hospital readmissions among Medicaid enrollees.   Read KHI Article.
  • July 19, 2013 3:03 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    TOPEKA - State welfare officials are seeking recommendations on what to do with Rainbow Mental Health Facility in Kansas City. The hospital has been mostly closed since November 2011 after failing state fire marshal inspections. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, which oversees the four state hospitals, is publishing a formal Request for Information or RFI to get ideas or proposals for how to move forward with the facility.

    The public has until August 5th to submit recommendations.  Read KHI Article.

  • June 02, 2013 2:00 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)
     
    The Budget Bill - H Sub for SB 171

    After adopting the one and only budget bill of the 2013 Legislative Session, the Kansas Senate adjourned around 2:00 a.m. Although June 2nd would technically be the 100th day, it counts as 99 since they worked straight through from Saturday, June 1st.

    Both the House and Senate had to have a Call to adopt the one and only budget bill of the 2013 session, where the doors are locked and everyone is supposed to report to the chamber to vote, while hesitant legislators are cajoled and/or more forcefully convinced to vote for the bill at hand. Each chamber was then able to manage to get just the majority needed to pass the bill - House Substitute for SB 171. In the House, the vote was 63-51. In the Senate, 21-15. No Democrats supported the bill.

    It is an ugly budget - every legislator could easily name at least one objectionable facet of the bill. The items that garnered the most attention were cuts to higher education - the Regents Institutions, cuts to the Department of Corrections that one senator suggested would create a "catch and release" policy, large sweeps of funds from Transportation and other agencies - including $9.5 million from tobacco dollars that are supposed to be earmarked for children's programs, and the fact that the budget bill did not include a carveout for the long term services and supports for intellectually and developmentally disabled populations from KanCare. $202 million in additional bonding debt was included over the protests of many legislators, to fund a larger than expected state share of the NBAF project in Manhattan.

    The policy that may end up having the most impact is a House created salaries and wages cap based on funding spent up to March of this fiscal year. That policy is certain to prevent agencies - such as State Hospitals - from being able to fill important staff positions that have been held open to hold down expenses. Some of these positions have been unfilled for months or years now.

    See budget bill description here.

  • May 21, 2013 1:05 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    The Hospital and Home Team, convened by the Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services, released a report this month reviewing the Mercer Study and making recommendations on alternative uses of the Rainbow Mental Health Facility.

    Read the report here.

  • May 21, 2013 12:59 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    Employers are increasingly recognizing they may be able to avoid certain penalties under the federal health law by offering very limited plans ...  Read more.

  • May 20, 2013 11:00 AM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    In January, Governor Brownback initiated his Mental Health Initiative, which canceled proposed cuts to mental health grants and funding for at-risk children.  The Initiative proposes to continue $5 million in mental health grants to community mental health centers and re-purpose $4.75 million from the Family Centered Systems of Care to focus on regional resources for difficult to engage Kansans with serious mental illness.  The mental health community has welcomed the attention to the system, and is working with the Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services for planning.  At this point, there are four identifiable planning activities associated with the initiative:

    1. Regional Recovery and Supports Centers (RRSC) Advisory Committee

    2. Contract Revision Committee

    3. Stakeholder meetings (held in May)   See presentation.

    4. GBHPSC Task Force Review of Mental Health System  (not yet appointed by the Governor)

    There are difficult tasks to be accomplished here.  So far, the agency has identified the target population and a map of the regions - each will have a lead community mental health center for its Regional Recovery and Supports Centers grants. According to planning documents, the target population is individuals who are uninsured and under-insured and are at risk of being admitted to state or local hospitals due to a lack of engagement or demonstrated ability to follow a treatment plan.  This may include individuals who use crisis services but never engage in other services offered by the CMHCs.  Also included are those who keep appointments inconsistently and tend to be elusive or "on the fringes".  

    What is not yet clear are the services currently being provided under the Family Centered Systems of Care program that might be lost and what will be continued under each centers' ability to absorb those costs under different funding streams.

    Initial planning indicates that the regions will design their own programs based on a needs assessment of the region.  This process is supposed to include cooperation among the centers and stakeholders in the region, to develop a collaborative program of resource sharing.  The

    Information is available at a special website developed by KDADS - www.bhsupdates.org.   

    KMHC members are engaged in various levels of this planning process and will continue to have monthly updates at regular meetings.  The Coalition is hopeful that this Initiative will be able to build on the work that has already been done in Kansas to introduce effective programs regionally that may eventually be implemented statewide.  The fact that this Initiative will not bring new money into the system makes it a daunting challenge, so the program must have a realistic focus. 

    See events page for more information about the monthly meetings.

  • May 17, 2013 10:36 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

    See link below for the KHI article about the Manhattan RRSC stakeholder meeting. 

    http://www.khi.org/news/2013/may/16/governors-mental-health-initiative-panned-manhatte/

<< First  < Prev   ...   5   6   7   8   9   Next >  Last >> 

(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4103, Topeka, KS  66604-0103         785-969-1617

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software