In a recent speech to members of the Kansas Mental Health Coalition who were meeting in Topeka, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said that too much mental health treatment takes place in the state's prison system.
“A lot of your mental health is being done by Corrections. Well, okay, this isn’t the place to do it. Or if you are going to that there, you’ve got to have it integrated better," he remarked.
Then, he called for more early and emergency intervention for people with mental health problems. “As a society we need to start addressing and treating mental illness as just that, an illness that is treatable,” Brownback told the crowd of about 300 people.
In the face of calls for the state to restore $15 million in cuts to its community mental health system since 2008 - a time before Brownback entered office - the Governor asked for time, noting that his Governor’s Mental Health Task Force will be issuing recommendations on how to better integrate mental health services between government agencies in coming weeks. He said that such integration could free up additional funds that would help to close the gap. He also touted the Rainbow Mental Health Facility in Kansas City, which will open in April.