Comprehensive Mental Health Services, Inc. (CMHS) recently received a grant for $70,000 from the Jackson County Community Mental Health Fund (JCCMHF) to provide individual, family, and group therapy; case management; crisis intervention services; evaluation/assessments; and referrals for IEP designation. 

The Blue Springs School District (BSSD) desires to partner with CMHS to provide services including: screenings, evaluation, case management, individual, family and group therapies and crisis intervention for students in programs at Hall McCarter Education Center (HMEC), and act as supervisor and fiscal agent for the partnership.  The project would allow licensed therapists to provide services to students at HMEC during school hours. This is a time when students are more receptive to receiving services for emerging problems without feeling the burden of stigma.  This project addresses the funding gap for services to students without IEPs, including Evaluation, creation of an individualized treatment plan, Individual, Family and Group therapy, Case Management, and Crisis Intervention. HMEC is also requesting assistance from CMHS to provide screening, evaluations, and parent engagement to identify and enroll students who may qualify to receive services through an IEP rather than through Levy funded services.

Emerging mental illness is often mistaken for normal changes in youth as they grow toward adulthood and denial of a problem is a common factor for parents and youth. While an ED diagnosis would qualify for service under IDEA, the stigma of mental illness makes it difficult for many families to agree to evaluation.  If a student exhibits behavioral issues that warrant an evaluation, the school attempts to engage parents, though many do not want their child labeled with ED. Regardless of the reasons they are at HMEC, the District is committed to serving them appropriately.

During the past school year 243 students attended HMEC. One hundred sixty-one of these students were seen by a CMHS therapist for at least one session.  Eighty-four students were admitted as “clients”, developed a treatment plan with the help of their therapist, and were seen a minimum of five sessions. CMHS therapists conducted: 93 Assessments, 545 Individual Therapy sessions, 1,126 Group Therapy sessions, 5 Family Therapy session and 144 Case Management Interventions.

Comprehensive Mental Health Services, Inc. (CMHS) is a community mental health center that provides a safety net of mental health and substance abuse treatment services, prevention education, and integrated mental and primary health services for low income people in Eastern Jackson County and the Urban Core of Kansas City Missouri. CMHS is celebrating its 45th year of serving as the mental health safety net for eastern Jackson County.