Governor's Mental Health Task Force

In July 2013, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback appointed 16 individuals from across the state to the Governor’s Mental Health Task Force, which he established to re-evaluate the state’s mental health system and determine ways to make it stronger and more effective. Task Force members represented a diverse mix of disciplines, academic backgrounds, and social services and community experiences. Mental and Behavioral Health staff from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, which has the responsibility for managing the majority of the state’s mental health programs, provided support and assistance to the Task Force effort.

The Governor asked his appointees to look for ways to enhance collaboration among state agencies that administer mental health programs and to better utilize the resources Kansas devotes to mental and behavioral health services. Task Force members examined the key factors necessary for enhancing community support structures and increasing the capacity of Kansas communities to help those with mental illness.

“The goal of this Task Force is to identify frayed areas of our mental health safety net and work to reinforce it. We have assembled a strong team to address this complex set of issues that touches the lives of so many Kansas families,” Governor Brownback said.

The state’s multi-faceted mental healthcare system includes the two state mental health hospitals and Kansas’ 26 Community Mental Health Centers which, along with private contractors, residential facilities and providers, make up the mental health safety net that Kansas has created over many years.

The Task Force goals set by Governor Brownback were:

  • Determine what state agencies and communities can do to better identify, treat, and support individuals with mental illness to live meaningful and productive lives in their community. This includes individuals who:
  • Identify and recommend specific community solutions that have the potential to minimize and prevent the exacerbation of chronic mental health conditions and support individuals to live meaningful and productive lives in their community.

Serving on the task for the Governor were: Co-Chair Dr. Rick Goscha, Lawrence; Co-Chair Dr. Karen Countryman-Roswurm, Wichita; Captain Bill Cochran, Topeka; Judge Tom Webb, Sublette; Dr. Steven Davies, Horton; Dr. Rick Gaskill, Wichita; Amanda Adkins, Kansas City; Ric Dalke, Garden City; Dr. Charlie Griffin, Manhattan; Dr. Michael Leeson, Lawrence; Becky Gray, Pittsburg; Cathy Ramshaw, Topeka; Pastor David Redmond, Concordia; Les Sperling, Lindsborg and Mark Potter, Cheney; Father Richard L. Daise, Salina.

At the conclusion of its deliberations, the Task Force issued a report to the Governor with its findings and recommendations.

Governor’s Mental Health Task Force Report

Community Conversations Toolkit

Task Force Documents

April 04, 2014

November 14, 2013

October Round Table Meetings

September 25, 2013

August 29, 2013

July 18, 2013

July 11, 2013