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Riley County, KS: Mental health provider to expand services to schools

Aug 26, 2019, Manhattan (KS) Mercury: Pawnee Mental Health crisis center on track to open in October Workers are finishing up Pawnee Mental Health Service’s crisis stabilization center, and the organization hopes to host a ribbon-cutting in October, executive director Robbin Cole told the Riley County Commission Monday. The crisis stabilization center — which will primarily serve Geary, Pottawatomie and Riley counties, although the center could be used by anyone in the organization’s 10-county service area — will offer an alternative to jail or hospitals for people dealing with mental health issues…. Cole also told the commission that Pawnee currently works with Northview and Ogden elementary schools to provide on-site therapy services one day a week. Pawnee recently received a two-year, $7,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to build the skills of its mental health professionals to better respond to the needs of children with mental health problems. “There’s been a lot of recognition of the mental health needs of children, and there’s been recognition that if we can intervene early and soon, we can help prevent the development of more serious mental health problems as they grow into teens and then adults,” Cole said. Cole said Pawnee and the Manhattan-Ogden school district are also working together using a $16,000 grant from the state to fund a school mental health liaison. While the funds aren’t enough to hire for a full-time position, Cole said Pawnee staff will use the funds to allocate therapist time among the schools as well as designate case manager time to respond to the needs of students with mental health problems. …


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