Another view…

David Hudnall, with The Pitch, offers his views about Kansas, its politics, and the results of the state’s political climate.

The Pitch‘s guide to Kansas’ shift from far right to very wrong

by David Hudnall

Suicides are up in Kansas — way up.

An October report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment revealed that 505 Kansans killed themselves in 2012, a startling 31.5 percent jump from the 384 suicides committed in 2011.

That sobering increase can be attributed, in part, to ripple effects from the recession. Suicide numbers tend to climb in economically challenging times.

But the spike also correlates to state policy. From 2009 to 2012, Kansas cut 12.4 percent from its mental-health budget — the ninth-largest decrease in the nation over that period. In Sedgwick County, where 88 people took their lives in 2012, the community mental-health center has lost more than half its state funding since 2009.

To read the full article, click here.

 

Brownback reveals mental health care plan

Press Release
From Gov. Sam Brownback‘s Office

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced Thursday, Jan. 10, an initiative to provide $10 million in  targeted funding to better provide mental health services to the state’s most at-risk and challenging populations, as well as the creation of a panel of experts to re-evaluate Kansas’ current mental health system and make recommendations for improvements.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., Aging and Disabilities Services Sec. Shawn Sullivan and Corrections Sec. Ray Roberts joined the governor for the plan’s unveiling at Wyandot Center Community Behavioral Health Care, Wyandotte County’s community mental health center that serves the Kansas City area.

“Families with mentally ill loved ones face daily challenges the rest of us can only imagine,” Brownback said. “We chose to make our announcement at Wyandot Center because it is representative of Kansas 27 community mental health centers, which together form  our state’s critical mental health safety-net system. “ Continue reading

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