TOPEKA — Psychologist Shawna Wright said only four of the state’s 105 counties have enough behavioral health professionals to meet demands of the population, and that shortage contributes to looping of mentally ill people in and out of the criminal justice system.
“We need quality behavioral health care in Kansas regardless of geography,” she said. “We’re still very underserved.”
The Rural Health Information Hub, a statistical resource funded by a federal grant, indicated the cluster of Johnson, Wyandotte, Douglas and Shawnee counties in the northeast part of the state had sufficient personnel to serve community needs. In 2017, part of Sedgwick County was covered. Now, the entire county is considered underserved.