With 2023 wrapped up, Pawnee Mental Health Services looked back on the year and the major programs they had success with.
Notably, the organization’s Co-Responder Program, which pairs RCPD with mental health professionals from Pawnee Mental Health, allows Police officers to provide appropriate responses to individuals in the community who may be experiencing mental health crises.
Pawnee Mental Health CEO Robbin Cole is proud of the program and the far reaching community benefits it provides, especially with program expansion on the horizon:
Cole notes that the programs will be slightly different from the one in Riley County, as they will be tailored for specific county needs.
Also of note was a $600,000 grant given to the organization by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Cole discusses the importance of the grant:
The grant, which will be given incrementally to Pawnee Mental Health over the next three years, allows the organization to hire one-and-a-half full time trainers who will be qualified to train community members in mental health first aid in both English and Spanish. The training is an eight-hour certification program that teaches community members how to respond to mental health crises.
Pawnee Mental Health Services will to continue further expansion of services in 2024, with Cole highlighting the importance that 2023 had from a state legislature perspective, as the state government rolled out a $65 million grant program using excess Covid funds to help expand mental health services across Kansas.