The Whole Person (TWP) will use the grant money to support the Mental Health Services program providing individual counseling, group counseling, psycho-educational group counseling, and independent living services. Funding from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City will pay for 25% of the Director’s time, 50% of the licensed professional counselor's time, and 50% of two advocates’ time in providing individual, group, and psycho-educational group counseling. Independent Living Services are already supported by a State Independent Living Grant from The Missouri Office of Adult Learning and Rehabilitation Services.
In 2013, The Whole Person worked with nearly 2,700 individuals with disabilities across the Kansas City metropolitan area. Of those individuals The Whole Person serves, seven percent typically have a mental or emotional disability as their primary disability. This does not include the large number of people The Whole Person serves who have mental health disabilities in addition to a primary physical disability. Approximately 90% of consumers served by the Mental Health program have a diagnosed mental health disability, while 30% have both a mental health disability and a physical disability. While there are a variety of organizations across the Kansas City metropolitan area providing mental health services (including nine community mental health centers), cuts to mental health funding have left many people with disabilities with few options for services. Without access to appropriate medication and care from a licensed mental health professional, these individuals are self-medicating with alcohol and street drugs. With support from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, The Whole Person can decrease mental health challenges and barriers for people with disabilities by providing individual, group, and psycho-educational group counseling.
The overall goal for all of TWP's mental health services is for participants to increase their ability to live independently in the community and not require institutionalization. The Mental Health program’s immediate objectives are to help consumers achieve the goals set forth in their independent living plan, decrease their symptom severity and increase functionality.
The Whole Person (TWP) provides a full range of community-based services for people with disabilities. In 1978, The Whole Person focused on community education with a panel of people with disabilities educating the community about disability issues. In 1980, a federal operating grant established The Whole Person as an independent living center. This designation allowed TWP to apply for federal funding to teach independent living skills to individuals with disabilities. Today, the mission of TWP is to assist people with disabilities to live independently and encourage change within the community to expand opportunities for independent living. TWP's goal is to promote empowerment, independence, self-reliance and integration into the community for people with disabilities.