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Mental Health Intervention Team program to transition from KSDE to KDADS as of July 1

Mental Health Intervention Team program to transition from KSDE to KDADS as of July 1

After six years under the direction of the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), the Mental Health Intervention Team (MHIT) will be under the umbrella of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) as of July 1, 2024.

John Calvert, head safety specialist for KSDE’s Safe and Secure Schools Unit, said MHIT breaks down the barriers that “we as adults have unintentionally put up for our students receiving mental health services.”

“It brings mental health services into the schools so that students are not missing a half-day or a full day of school to receive needed services,” he said. “MHIT brings mental health services, group therapy, and case management into the schools so that Kansas students aren’t faced with missing additional class time.”

Calvert said one of the best aspects of MHIT has been the removing of the stigma around asking for mental health help. He said students also encourage their peers to seek out help as well.

“The fact that we have students who are still here because of the program shows that it’s working,” he said.

Calvert has given much of the credit of MHIT’s success to Angie Brungardt, MHIT’s field liaison coordinator.

“She does a fantastic job of going out to each district, meeting with all the liaisons, ironing out details with the mental health providers,” he said. “She’s truly the ‘boots on the ground’ and heart of this program and she does a fantastic job.”

Where the MHIT’s transition to KDADS stands now

While the appropriation for the MHIT program has been signed into law as part of SB 28, KSDE and KDADS are waiting to see the final outcome of proviso language agreed to as part of the omnibus budget bill (HB 2551). Specifically, the proviso language will provide additional funding ($3.0 million for public schools and $1.5 million for qualified nonpublic schools) and will provide additional detail on the program’s administration.

KSDE is awaiting the status of the proviso to determine the level of involvement the state education department will have. However, it is KSDE’s understanding that KSDE will assist in transitioning the program and serve on a board to develop, at KDADS’s direction, a process for nonpublic schools to participate in the program.

House bill 2551, the omnibus budget bill, was engrossed on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, but has not yet been presented to Gov. Laura Kelly. After she receives the bill, the governor has 10 days to decide if the bill will be signed, vetoed, or if she will allow the bill to become law without her signature. Legislators discussed several different options related to the proviso during 2024 session. The version currently on its way to Gov. Kelly would do the following:

  • Move the program to the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services;
  • Amend current practice to allow school districts to retain 65% of the grant award, while passing on 35% of the grant to the mental health partner; and
  • Establish a process for the participation of qualified nonpublic schools.


MHIT by the numbers:

  • 90 school districts served by MHIT liaisons.
  • 190 school district liaisons.
  • As of Dec. 20, 2023: 5,732 students served, 477 foster students served.
  • 9 pilot districts were established: Kansas City, Kansas USD 500; Topeka USD 501, Wichita USD 259, Parsons USD 503, Garden City USD 457 and a consortium of Abilene USD 453, Solomon USD 393, Herington USD 487 and Chapman USD 473.
  • The pilot Community Mental Health Centers that participated were PACES (Kansas City, Kansas), Family Service and Guidance Center (Topeka), Labette County Mental Health (Parsons), COMPASS (Garden City), and Central Kansas Mental Health (Abilene).
Posted: May 9, 2024,
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