News Releases and Media Advisories

KDADS and Valeo Behavioral Health Care Partner to Bring Nursing Facilities for Mental Health Pilot Program to Shawnee County

For Immediate Release

March 9, 2022

For more information, contact:
Cara Sloan-Ramos
785-296-0807

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has partnered with Valeo Behavioral Health Care (Valeo) to launch a pilot program in Shawnee County later this month. The pilot program is designed to support efforts toward community transition to residents that are currently receiving mental health treatment in a Nursing Facilities for Mental Health (NFMH) and those who are considered at-risk of being placed into an NFMH who want to live in the community.

The pilot program will be a partnership between long-term care facilities and a community mental health center (CMHC). Valeo, a licensed CMHC, provides services to adults seeking recovery from mental illness and/or addiction.

“This pilot program is one of the first steps toward implementing practice improvements and realizing targeted goals we have put in place to strengthen the continuum of care for Kansans in need of and desiring community-based mental health options,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said. “We appreciate Valeo’s eagerness to partner with us as we both strive to enable people with mental illness to live better, more independent lives.”

Through a combination of specialized services, coordination with CMHCs and person-centered care options, the program offers those wanting to live in a community setting the necessary resources to do so while also creating space for those who require more hands-on assistance within NFMH’s.

“We are very pleased to work alongside the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and long-term care facilities on the implementation of a two-part pilot program” Bill Persinger, CEO, Valeo Behavioral Health Care.

The first part of the program, concurrent with the second part, will increase access to onsite behavioral healthcare services for individuals who reside in certain nursing facilities; some of whom can recover and live independently or semi-independently in the community. The second part enhances existing and creates new housing supports and treatment services for adults with mental illness who are in crisis and are unsheltered or living in unstable housing situations or who are about to be discharged from psychiatric hospitals. Without increased services offered by the program being available, it is likely these individuals would be admitted to long-term care facilities.

The pilot program will help KDADS deliver on terms within the Nursing Facilities for Mental Health (NFMH) Pre-Litigation Settlement Agreement signed in July 2021 with the Disability Rights Center of Kansas (DRC) and other advocacy groups.

“We appreciate the efforts by KDADS and Valeo to develop the pilot programs established by the NFMH pre-litigation settlement agreement,” said Rocky Nichols, Executive Director of the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, Inc. “We look forward to working with KDADS and Valeo to provide residents in the NFMHs and those at risk of institutionalization the choice and opportunity to live more independent lives successfully in the community.”

About Valeo

For more than 55 years, Valeo Behavioral Health Care (a licensed community mental health center) has provided services to adults seeking recovery from mental illness and/or addiction, regardless of income. In addition to treatment, Valeo knows safe and affordable housing, meaningful work, family support and a social network of peers are important in the recovery process. Valeo’s unique continuum-of-care is made possible by its dedicated staff, management and volunteer governing board; all of whom are supported by city, county, and state government partners, as well as donors.