Johnson County Mental Health Center has received more than $ 900,000 in federal grants to support the organization’s efforts to serve incarcerated people as they prepare to return to society.
In total, the community health center received $ 927,512 for the Back to school project, which aims to provide quality mental health care to detainees leaving detention.
Representative Sharice Davids of Kansas’ Third District this week announced grant funding for the Johnson County Mental Health Center, as well as a grant of more than $ 4.7 million for the Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Health Care providing trauma-informed treatment in Wyandotte County schools.
Davids’ office said the grants will be used to help third district community health centers recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as restore services for people with mental health issues.
Local mental health groups have reported an increased demand for mental health services over the past year, resulting in a shortage of services and burnout of health professionals.
Tim DeWeese, director of the Johnson County Mental Health Center, said his team was “excited about the new doors” as the federal grant opened for the organization to serve the community.
“We know that providing people in prison with the mental health supports they need is essential to their well-being and long-term success outside of the justice system,” said DeWeese. “This grant will not only change the lives of hundreds of people directly served by the reintegration program, but also the lives of their families, friends and neighbors. There are also systemic benefits, such as reduced burdens in the criminal justice system caused by recidivism or in the health care system caused by untreated mental health issues.
Funding was authorized by HR 133, 2021 Consolidated Finance Law, a $ 2.3 trillion spending program passed by Congress in December and enacted by former President Donald Trump.
Davids said in the announcement that she was happy to support the mission of both organizations with the new funding.
“Mental health is health, a fact that has become even clearer as the pandemic has taken its toll on all aspects of the well-being of our communities,” Davids said in a statement. “These grants will help reduce the pressure on our health care system and ensure that the residents of the Third District are healthy and safe.”
The Johnson County Corrections Department has estimated that 27% of those held in its jails have serious mental illness, which is higher than the estimated 5% of the general American adult population, according to a press release.
Johnson County Mental Health Center plans to serve 200 people under the grant-funded project.
The center will use the grant funding for the reintegration project by providing additional staff and support to ensure that incarcerated people have access to mental health services and resources when they return to the community.
A portion of the grant funding will also be used for the mental health needs of staff at the Johnson County Mental Health Center.
The Addiction and Mental Health Services Administration and the Mental Health Services Center provide grants through their Community Mental Health Center Grant program.
The program enables community mental health centers to support and restore the delivery of clinical services that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and to effectively meet the needs of people with severe mental illness and related disorders. substance use.