City Commission Approves Funding for Behavioral Health Court Grant

City Commission Approves Funding for Behavioral Health Court Grant

The Salina City Commission has voted to authorize a contribution of up to $51,670 as matching funds for a potential U.S. Department of Justice grant. If awarded to the 28th Judicial District Court - Saline County, Kansas, this grant would kickstart the establishment of a Behavioral Health Court (BHC) in Saline County.

The decision, passed by the City Commissioners, comes after extensive deliberations and collaborations aimed at addressing homelessness and mental health challenges within Salina. The proposal for a BHC stems from the recognition that many individuals with untreated behavioral health disorders often become involved in criminal activities. By establishing a BHC, the community aims to address the root causes of criminal behavior through a collaborative approach that connects participants with essential services like healthcare, addiction treatment, housing, and employment assistance.

The BHC, if established, would provide participants with regular and direct interaction with a judge and designated staff, fostering supportive relationships and closer supervision. It would offer a multi-tier eligibility process, ensuring that participants receive the appropriate level of care and support tailored to their needs.

The anticipated benefits of a BHC extend beyond the criminal justice system, alleviating burdens on community resources such as emergency services, healthcare facilities, and law enforcement. By stabilizing participants and addressing their underlying behavioral health conditions, the program aims to reduce recidivism and promote stability and independence.

The grant opportunity from the U.S. Department of Justice presents a significant funding opportunity for the establishment of the BHC. The City's contribution, alongside contributions from the Salina Regional Health Foundation and Saline County, will serve as matching funds for the grant application. If awarded, the grant would provide essential resources for the implementation and operation of the BHC.

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