Governor Kelly visits COMCARE in Wichita to discuss pandemic impact

Coronavirus in Kansas

(Courtesy: State of Kansas, Gov. Laura Kelly)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Laura Kelly on Thursday toured COMCARE Children’s Services of Sedgwick County to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted them and other mental health centers.

Joan Tammany, COMCARE executive director, led the tour. COMCARE of Sedgwick County is the largest of the state’s 27 Community Mental Health Centers.

COMCARE provides a wide array of mental health and substance abuse services to over 19,000 people.

“Anybody that’s struggling with the financial pressures going on, that may have had some low-grade depression or anxiety in the past and all these economic and social issues have challenged their fortitudes even further,” said Tammany.

After the tour, KSN News asked governor about ways her administration is helping with unemployment and mental health. She said the focus since the beginning of the pandemic has been on public and economic health.

“We are doing everything we possibly can to shore up our businesses and to allow them to be open, to be productive, hopefully, to be profitable and to keep people employed. So, we are doing all that we can do to do that,” said Gov. Laura Kelly. “We also recognize, no matter our best efforts, that there are a record number of unemployed still in the state of Kansas, that is one of the reasons we have done things like the moratorium on evictions so folks are not thrown out on the street, we’ve increased access to food assistance for folks who are unemployed, we are doing all of those kinds of things. The supports that we can provide there will supplement the mental health supports that folks will get through COMCARE.”

Gov. Kelly added she will be meeting with the State Finance Council today to approve federal unemployment money that President Trump signed in with an order. It could provide up to $400 a week.

Kelly’s visit coincided with the beginning of National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, which is recognized in September each year.

For more information on COMCARE of Sedgwick County, click here.

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