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Crisis Treatment For Families With Emergency Mental Health Issues



TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard announced today the agency’s Behavioral Health Services (BHS) Commission has entered into an agreement with Family Service & Guidance Center (FSGC) of Topeka, Inc. to provide immediate crisis services to families and youth with emergency mental health issues.

“We are always looking to engage community partners and provide families a more stable, long-term solution to mental health and substance use treatment,” Secretary Howard said. “This agreement raises the bar and allows us to move forward with the goal of providing immediate access to care in a safe, therapeutic environment and we believe our work with Family Service & Guidance Center is significant in reaching the program goals and outcomes we have set.”

KDADS has awarded FSGC $312,500 over the next 15 months with potential for yearly funding extensions using monies from Lottery Vending Machine revenue. FSGC will use the funds to address three identified needs as outlined in the agreement:

  • To expand the capacity of FSGC’s Crisis Recovery Program for the stabilization of youth and families throughout the state of Kansas for youth aged 5-17, in a therapeutic environment setting, that require an immediate or intermediate episode of care for a maximum of 28 days for the resolution of psychological and substance use symptoms and impairment and/or until the family rupture involving the youth can be re-stabilized.
  • To create a program that is strategically designed for a vulnerable population that incorporates a flexible, yet safe, design scheme that will allow for the ability to scale the program and operations in an effective and cost-efficient manner.
  • Recruit and retain a workforce that is cross trained to treat youth and families that may seek our services for a variety of crisis situations, including substance use disorders.

The specific counties served through this grant include Shawnee, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Lyon, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley and Wabaunsee. The agreement also provides for services to youth from other counties when warranted, so no exceptions to service are made based only on location.

KDADS and the Kansas Department of Children and Families recognize the need for these crisis services to prevent and mitigate family disruption and the placement of children and youth into residential treatment facilities or foster care due to a behavioral health crisis.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to implement a program we feel will be effective in reducing the demand for admission of children and youth to private psychiatric hospitals or PRTFs by addressing the need for crisis stabilization in this population.” Commissioner Andy Brown said. “Combined with DCF’s initiative for Mobile Crisis Response services, we are expecting positive results for many youths. This program offers a real opportunity to demonstrate a regional solution that broadens the system of care and creates new access points for families in need of help.”

“Our mission at FSGC is to provide high quality behavioral health services to children and families, and we are deeply appreciative of the support from KDADS so we can further our mission,” said Brenda Mills, CEO of Family Service & Guidance Center. “The number of children struggling with mental health and substance use disorders is alarming, and it continues to grow. Expanding our crisis program will help meet this challenge by allowing us to implement a more comprehensive program tailored to meet these pressing needs.”