Mental Health A Focus of Intergovernmental Group

Photo by Cathy Dawes

Photo by Cathy Dawes

Mental health matters have been an on-going concern of several governmental groups in the Manhattan area, and the matter was a main topic of discussion at Monday’s Intergovermental meeting. Rick Cagan, who serves as the Executive Director of the National Alliance Mental Illness of Kansas,otherwise known as “NAMI”was a special guest at the meeting and addressed the need for Crisis Intervention Teams, with law enforcement participation.
 

Riley County is a significant place on the map, in terms of not having a Crisis Intervention team for those with mental illness according to Caganand he anticipates some activity in Riley County soon.
 
Riley County Police Director Brad Schoen was also at the meeting and indicates something needs to get in place. Schoen says officers need to know where to send someone if they seem to be in need of treatment or some type of program.
 
Manhattan City Commissioner Karen McCulloh, who has been active in mental health matters since her earlier term as a Riley County Commissioner, talked about concerns with mental health facilities increasingly full across the state, and also mentioned local officials at this point are trying to identify costs involved.
 
Proposed fees and/or contracts for police services at special events were again discussed–this time by an intergovernmental group in Manhattan. The matter took substantial time at the last Riley County Law Board meeting,and RCPD Director Schoen addressed the large group of governmental officials Monday about the special events dilemma, which is costing RCPD a lot of overtime.
 
Schoen added overtime hour expenses for such special events have been adding up to close to $400,000, which doesn’t include Stampede and K-State football and basketball game traffic, which already involves contracts.
 
Manhattan City Commissioner Usha Reddi asked what is being considered–and Director Schoen mentioned there are some events that don’t require overtime. The exception would involve a certain number of officers more than a certain number of hours, specifically more than two officers at two hours apiece.
 
Nothing has been decided yet,although law board members have considered grandfathering certain groups or maybe considering non-profit status.
 
Veteran’s Memorials in the Manhattan area have received more attention lately, especially in light of what to do about Peace Memorial Auditorium at City Hall. And the matter was a topic at Monday’s intergovernmental meeting, with Riley County Commission Chair Robert Boyd addressing the group about possibly working together more on such memorials. The consensus seemed to be for a working group on the matter, with Boyd and City Commissioner McCulloh leading the group.
 
On another matter, listening tours will be making the rounds at mlilitary installations later this year, and Fort Riley is no exception. That’s why Manhattan City Commissioner Rich Jankovich encouraged other representatives at Monday’s intergovernmental meeting to start listing areas where community groups work with Fort Riley. Jankovich also serves on the Flint Hills Regional Council, and says the matter came up at one of that group’s recent meetings.
 
Jankovich says most folks know of the economic importance of Fort Riley–but a lot more is involved. Areas already listed in the Programmatic Environmental Assessment include transportation upgrades, the expansion of the local airport, and school support both at the public education and college level.
 
The intergovernmental group inclues representatives from the city, county, USD 383, K-State, and Fort Riley.
Rick Cagan, Executive Director, National Alliance Mental Illness Kansas addressing Intergovernmental leaders

Rick Cagan, Executive Director, National Alliance Mental Illness Kansas addressing Intergovernmental leaders