Robbin Walder-Cole, of Pawnee Mental Health, submitted a budget request for 2020 during Monday’s Geary County commissioners meeting. 

In the past year, Pawnee received a $725,000 grant from the state, and a $200,000 matching grant from the Goldstein Foundation for a crisis stabilization center. This center will provide 24-hour crisis stabilization services for adults who are undergoing a mental health crisis. Staff feels this program can fill a major gap in Geary County caused by the reduction in state hospital beds and moratorium on admissions to the state hospital. This has caused an uptick in the number of mentally ill people in the Geary County Jail and local emergency rooms. 

Geary County currently supports Pawnee at the rate of $114.74 per client. While Geary County citizens account for 25 percent of the total clients served by Pawnee, the company is requesting that Geary County increase its funding support proportionally to 25 percent of Pawnee’s total county funding budget of more than $1.5 million. This increase would assist in covering more of the uncompensated costs for services that are provided to Geary County citizens, and would also help Pawnee in recruiting and retaining staff to meet the needs of the county.

County commissioners will consider the request and make a decision at a later date.

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