WRAP mental health program to continue in Lawrence School District – The Lawrence Times


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Students in the Lawrence School District will continue to receive support from a school-based mental and behavioral health program following uncertainty over a funding source for the 2022-23 school year, according to the health center community mentality Bert Nash.

Douglas County supports the Working to Realize Alternative Possibilities, or WRAP, program financially, and in 2018 voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax to expand behavioral health support services, including WRAP. But the city of Lawrence withdrew its funding to WRAP for the next school year.


School officials and mental health support advocates still needed to fill a gap between $350,000 and $400,000, according to Jeff Burkhead, communications manager for Bert Nash. Patrick Schmitz, CEO of Bert Nash, said last week that the center was looking at all possible options to fill this gap.

Friday, the center announcement that “a long-term solution has been found for sustainable funding to continue the program at its current level and expand the services that are provided to students”.

Getting mental health help in Lawrence

These resources are available 24/7 if you or someone you know needs immediate mental health help:

• Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center: 785 843-9192
• Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ (formerly headquarters): 785-841-2345
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK); veterans, dial 1

“The county will continue its huge investment in the WRAP program,” Schmitz said in the update. “And earlier this week, Lawrence Public Schools agreed to partner with the Bert Nash Center to adopt the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) model. This model will allow us to bring more resources to our community to support the WRAP program. As a result of these changes and agreements, no positions will be cut in the WRAP program.

Bert Nash is becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinicdepending on the update.

Governor Laura Kelly signed an invoice in April 2021 that establishes a new CCBHC model for providing behavioral health services in Kansas. The Kansas Reflector reported in June that “A section of the legislation requires state agencies to certify 26 community mental health centers as behavioral health clinics within three years and set new fees for services that ‘They provide. The state estimates that this investment will eventually total $74 million per year.

“This change is more significant than the WRAP program alone in that it relates to a much broader range of mental health services for our young people in the school setting, including behavioral health supports and case management. “Schmitz said in Bert Nash’s post. “In fact, we anticipate that in the years to come, we will be able to expand the resources deployed to Douglas County schools.”

Lawrence Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Lewis said in the post that “Bert Nash’s WRAP specialists complement the support our school mental health and student services teams provide to students and connect school families. the community resources they need”.

WRAP provides a licensed master’s level clinician employed by Bert Nash at the two high schools, four middle schools and six elementary schools in the district: Cordley, New York, Pinckney, Prairie Park, Sunflower and Woodlawn. The program is also offered at the Juvenile Detention Center, Bishop Seabury Academy, and school districts in Baldwin, Eudora and Perry-Lecompton. It is in its 25th year.

Read more about the program in our April 1 article.

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Images from Contributed and Lawrence Times files

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The future of WRAP, the Lawrence School District’s school mental and behavioral health program, remains up in the air for the 2022-23 school year.

Mac Moore / KSHSAA Covered

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The budget cuts were a focus of district staff as well as public commentators who called for six-figure salary cuts for administrators at Monday’s Lawrence School Board meeting.

Tricia Masenthin/Lawrence Times file photo

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Recent incidents and their aftermath at Billy Mills Middle School have made some families concerned for student safety. On top of that, students at two other middle schools allegedly made false reports of a shooting and a threat Monday, and police were investigating a threat to a Lawrence elementary school Monday night.



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