Sep 26, 2021

High Plains receives grant for community mental health services

Posted Sep 26, 2021 10:30 AM

News release

High Plains Mental Health Center has received a two-year Block Grant for Community Mental Health Services from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This project, titled “Hope in the Heartland,” will provide up to $3 million in funding to strengthen and expand current mental health and substance use services provided in HPMHC’s 20-county Northwest Kansas catchment area. 

This project will focus on several key program areas, including identifying and expanding services for adults and children with significant behavioral health disorders and expanding HPMHC’s growing presence in public school districts throughout Northwest Kansas. Embedding mental health services in public schools allows youth to quickly and efficiently be referred for treatment, while also removing potential barriers to care such as travel and requiring guardians to take time off work for appointments. This project will include offering mental health services through a hybrid on-site and telehealth platform to 10 additional schools in the region. An additional two school liaisons will be hired to help facilitate referrals from schools and help families coordinate service delivery. HPMHC also will further expand its existing Mental Health First Aid training program to make this important education more available for students and staff at regional school districts.

HPMHC also will create a full-time jail liaison position to assist with diversion and post-release service coordination to help inmates sustain needed levels of treatment following incarceration in efforts to reduce recidivism. This new program also will help inmates enter mental health services and coordinate their care during time served in regional county jails. HPMHC also will partner with existing regional peer support entities to strengthen services and increase referrals for individuals with a diagnosed mental health disorder. 

In total, HPMHC will be hiring eight new staff positions as part of this grant project and contracting with two additional telehealth LSCSW clinicians to expand access for Medicare clients. The project also will help address current workforce challenges by providing staff retention incentives and additional staff training and development opportunities. The project also will include conducting a regional public survey to identify unmet needs within the community and help guide further outreach and education programming in efforts to reduce stigma.

High Plains Mental Health Center also recently received a federal grant to implement Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic services. The two projects will complement each other and allow HPMHC to significantly expand service areas that have seen increasing local demand, said Walt Hill, executive director of HPMHC.

“We are very grateful for the federal support, which will enable our community mental health services to significantly expand for the first time in many years as we continue our mission to provide high-quality client care in many settings within our 20 counties,” Hill said. “We are continuing to see unprecedented levels of community needs for services, and we are eager to raise the bar by furthering important community partnerships and making care more accessible for those who need it most.”

High Plains Mental Health Center is a licensed community mental health center dedicated to the aggressive pursuit of providing a comprehensive mental health program to the residents of Northwest Kansas. Embodied in this pursuit are fundamental principles of establishing quality services as close to home as possible, at an affordable fee, and delivered in the least disruptive manner available. Such services will offer a continuum of care so that treatment can be individualized, and our staff can respond quickly and compassionately to those reaching out to us. We’re Here for You!