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The Center earns full licensure as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center
Wendy Lockwood, COO at The Center

Virtually everyone at The Center for Counseling & Consultation has been working toward a goal to provide increased access to a broader range of services than ever before.

That work recently paid off when The Center became fully licensed as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC).

A CCBHC provides integrated, client-centered care; it is a multi-dimensional program that cares for the whole person.

“We have an amazing staff that is highly focused and dedicated,” said Wendy Lockwood, chief operating officer at The Center. “They worked tirelessly to achieve all the requirements of full licensure far ahead of the deadline.

“They did this in a way that results in meaningful service delivery for our clients,” she added. “You can meet all the requirements in the world, but if the client doesn’t benefit, it is just busy work.”

This process began in 2022 and The Center became provisionally certified prior to its recent full licensure.

There are three levels of licensure designations – passing, succeeding and exemplary.

“In Kansas, the goal was to achieve the passing level but we exceeded that,” Lockwood noted. “We attained the ‘succeeding’ level.”

In addition, there are four evidence-based practices involved in this process. They are:

• Assertive Community Treatment, an interdisciplinary approach for those who need a higher level of care; ACT’s goals include reducing hospitalizations and incarcerations;

• Individual Placement Support, which refers to supportive employment;

• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, talking therapy that helps manage problems by changing thoughts and actions; and

• Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), which is often used for those struggling with Substance-Use Disorder.

“We instituted all four of these in the last couple of years to the degree that we reached the ‘fidelity’ mark,” Lockwood said. “We are one of the few community-mental-health centers in Kansas that achieved this level of success.”

There are 26 centers in the state; all are either fully or provisional certified now. The deadline for full licensure is July 2025.

Lockwood also noted that The Center “is one of a very few centers that achieved it goals with no federal funding from SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

State and Local support

The Center collaborated with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services throughout the licensure process.

“KDADS supplied us with technical assistance and some grant money,” Lockwood explained. “We are thrilled with the support we received from the KDADS team.

“They collaborated with us in this partnership because of their sincere interest in achieving CCBHC standards throughout the state. The goal is to benefit clients by providing integrated care, increased accessibility and positive outcomes. This is what we all want – to enhance behavioral-health services.”

Just as important as the state-level support is the long list of community partners that helped The Center achieve its licensure goal, Lockwood said.

“Each partner has our heartfelt appreciation,” she commented. “There can be no integration of services without caring partners. It is clear to me that our local partners share our commitment to the overall health of clients.”