Mental Health Task Force


The work of the Mental Health Task Force (MHTF) in 2017 resulted in an outstanding report (MHTFR) and a workable blueprint for strengthening mental health services in Kansas. This report was the result of hard work by the members of the MHTF and the expert facilitation of the MHTF by the Kansas Health Institute (KHI).

To keep the momentum of the MHFT, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disabilities Services (KDADS) has reached out to the members of that group to seek their continued participation in the next steps and prioritization of the MHTFR’s recommendations. KDADS has also asked KHI to continue to facilitate the work of the MHTF. KHI has agreed to continue the facilitation, and every MHTF member contacted has agreed to continue to participate.

In addition, because there may be value in having legislative participation, KDADS intends to include Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore and Rep. Susan Concannon, who were both participants in the Adult Continuum of Care Committee deliberations in 2015 and 2016.

The MHTF began work on its follow-up report in June 2018 and delivered it to the Legislature in January 2019. The MHTF was charged with setting out an implementation plan for the recommendations made in the 2017 MHTFR. Included among the issues to be addressed was the regionalization model suggested by the MHTFR and a Kansas-specific study of the inpatient bed capacity for behavioral health in Kansas.

The 2018 Mental Health Task Force Report says Kansas needs additional in-patient psychiatric beds. KDADS has asked KHI to examine this issue and do a Kansas-specific study to address the question of statewide in-patient bed capacity. While this requires continued study, there is no question that Kansas needs additional bed capacity, and that this concept is being recognized nationally as well. The question remains, however, of just how many expansion beds we need. Because we know we need additional beds, and we believe there is value in addressing this issue simultaneously with a Kansas-specific study, KDADS is initiating an RFP that will focus on the regional model and increase statewide bed capacity for behavioral health needs.