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The Center prepares for new comprehensive behavioral-health clinic
April White and Shaun Dierker talk with employees recently at The Center for Counseling and Consultation. They explained the basics of a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic on behalf of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

The Center for Counseling & Consultation has its sights focused on pre-certification so that it can establish a new comprehensive behavioral-health program as soon as possible.

Julie Kramp, The Center’s executive director, and her colleagues plan to pre-certify as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) by July of this year. Full certification from the state of Kansas will follow within the next 12 months after that.

A CCBHC is a multi-dimensional program that will be offered through The Center, 5815 Broadway.

“Because we got a head-start, many of the service dimensions are already being implemented here,” Kramp said. “For just a couple of examples, we now provide medical-assisted treatment and have secured a Substance-Use Disorder license.

“The whole point is to integrate our services to offer a CCBHC, which is person- and family-centered program designed to ensure access to comprehensive behavioral healthcare.”

The build-up to this program began about a year ago at The Center, which started addressing the 39 criteria involved.

“We have met the requirements for many of these criteria and are getting close on the others,” Kramp noted. “The result will be a much broader range of services that address concerns holistically. We are getting away from compartmentalization.

“For instance, does a client need help finding housing and a job? Is substance-use an issue? Could talk therapy and/or medication be the answer? Is a physical exam needed? Or all of the above? Oftentimes, the problem doesn’t result from just one thing.”

One of the 39 criteria that is a priority now is ensuring access to intensive mental healthcare for veterans and those currently serving in the Armed Forces.

“We have always tried to connect clients to the Veterans Administration (VA),” Kramp noted. “But we want to play a bigger role. A person may not be using VA benefits because they think they don’t qualify or maybe they just haven’t pursued what they are entitled to.

“We will not only connect them with the VA, we will help them follow through. The goal is to remove as many barriers to services as possible – whether we provide those services or the VA does.”

The CCBHC will provide a care coordinator who helps with the admissions process and follow-up to ensure clients get the resources they need.

“Throughout the past year, we have already enhanced services with this new multi-dimensional program in mind,” Kramp said. “We are more deliberate and more intensive with on-site services and following up when a referral is appropriate.”

The Center’s state association – the Association for Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas - has worked with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing on this program. Also, the state association has sought guidance from Missouri and Oklahoma, which were part of the CCBHC pilot program that is now expanding across the country.

The Center for Counseling & Consultation is a Community Mental Health Center serving Barton, Pawnee, Rice and Stafford counties. Professionally trained personnel offer: individual and group therapy; marriage and family counseling; community-support services; community-based services; psychosocial rehabilitation; peer support; and medication management. The confidential 24/7 crisis hotline number is 800-875-2544.