Today the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners unanimously authorized three new full time positions, and transitioned two part time positions to full time, for the Johnson County Mental Health Center. Funds for these new positions will come from state contract funding and revenue generated from fees, as opposed to taxpayer dollars. Below is a summary of the new positions and the reasons they are needed.
Two Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) for Open Access Clinician positions.
Mental Health utilizes an open access model of service, where clients can walk in seeking services without an appointment. The department operates two open access clinics in Olathe and Shawnee. The number of walk-in clients increased more than 10 percent from 2016 to 2017. Staff estimates the number will increase another 4 percent this year.
One Full time Equivalent for a Dispatcher position.
The dispatcher will assist the Mental Health Center transportation program, which allows to clients earn income by providing rides to other Mental Health clients to work, school or medical appointments. In 2017 the program expanded to provide transportation to and from work for Johnson County Developmental Supports clients. The program has steadily grown to more than 25 vehicles and more than 50 drivers, requiring additional staff.
Expanded a current part time Vocational Case Manager to full-time.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services assist clients in finding competitive employment so they can be more self-supportive and live in the community. One of the most effective treatments for mental illness is assisting clients in finding employment. Mental Health maintains an adult employment rate of about 40 percent…double the rest of the state of Kansas.
Expanded a current part time Mental Health Clinician to full-time.
This position works with Assisted Outpatient Treatment, which delivers outpatient treatment under court order to adults with severe mental illness, assisting individuals who have experienced repeated hospitalizations or arrests. These individuals are most at risk for the negative consequences associated with not receiving treatment. AOT laws have been shown to reduce hospitalization, arrest and incarceration, homelessness and violent acts associated with mental illness.