Two Western Kansans on Mental Health Task Force

mental healthKansas Governor Sam Brownback announced Wednesday his appointments to the Governor’s Mental Health Task Force, established to re-evaluate the state’s mental health system and determine ways to make it stronger and more effective.

The Governor has asked the appointees to look for ways to enhance collaboration among state agencies that administer mental health programs and to better utilize the resources Kansas devotes to mental health services. Task force members will examine key factors necessary for enhancing community support structures and increasing the capacity of Kansas communities to help those with mental illness.

The state’s multi-faceted mental health care system includes the two state mental hospitals and Kansas’ 27 Community Mental Health Centers which, along with private contractors, residential facilities and providers, make up the mental health safety net that Kansas has created over many years.

The Mental Health Task Force goals set by Governor Brownback are to:

  • Determine what State Agencies and communities can do to better identify, treat, and support individuals with mental illness to live meaningful and productive lives in their community. This includes individuals who:
    • Currently use the mental health system
    • Are not  reached by appropriate mental health services
    • Are at risk of serious life disruption due to exacerbation of mental health symptoms.
  • Identify and recommend specific community solutions that have the potential to minimize and prevent the exacerbation of chronic mental health conditions and support individuals to live meaningful and productive lives in their community.

Appointed to the task for by the Governor are: Dr. Rick Goscha, Lawrence; Dr. Karen Countryman-Roswurm, Wichita; Captain Bill Cochran, Topeka; Judge Tom Webb, Sublette; Dr. Steven Davies, Horton; Dr. Rick Gaskill, Wichita; Amanda Adkins, Kansas City; Ric Dalke, LSCSW, Garden City; Dr. Charlie Griffin, Manhattan; Dr. Michael Leeson, Lawrence; Becky Gray, Pittsburg; Cathy Ramshaw, Topeka; Pastor David Redmond, Concordia; Les Sperling, Lindsborg and Mark Potter, Cheney; Father Richard L. Daise, Salina.