OLATHE, Kan. —The Johnson County Mental Health Center (JCMHC) will soon bring on 21 new full-time employees in an attempt to reduce caseloads for current case managers.

On Dec. 15, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted unanimously to allocate $2.1 million in reserves to hire additional employees for the center.  

According to county documents, additional property tax will not be needed to support the additional staff. Instead the positions will be funded through  Medicaid contract revenues negotiated between the county mental health center and the state.

“Mental health is an important public service of Johnson County. Our mental health staff has been stretched to the limit with increased demand for mental health services. Our Mental Health Center needs this staffing help to expand its support in providing important mental health programs that directly help individuals and families in great need and strengthen the mental health wellness of our community,” BOCC Chair Ed Eilert said.

Mental Health Center Director Tim DeWeese said the additional staff will help make current caseloads more manageable. 

Currently the center is exceeding standard rates of cases per case manager by roughly  273 clients for adult services and 50 clients for children and family services.

“If you have a lower workload for your employees, then they can provide higher quality services, more intensive services, so you should see also a decrease in crisis use,” DeWeese said. “You should see an increase in employment. You should see a decrease in hospitalization. You should see, on the kids’ side, an increase in school functioning.”

The additional staff will help maintain JCMHC’s designation as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center.