Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Becky Gray was tabbed for the Governor's Mental Health Task Force

  • Becky Gray, Pittsburg, director of research, planning and grants development at SEK-CAP, Inc., now has a new duty as well.

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  • Becky Gray, Pittsburg, director of research, planning and grants development at SEK-CAP, Inc., now has a new duty as well.
    On July 10 she was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Mental Health Task Force, which was established to re-evaluate the state’s mental health system and determine ways to make it stronger and more effective.
    Gov. Sam Brownback has asked appointees to look for ways to enhance collaboration among state agencies that administer mental health programs and to better utilize the resources Kansas devotes to mental health services. Task force members will examine key factors necessary for enhancing community support structures and increasing the capacity of Kansas communities to help those with mental illness.
    Specific goals set by the governor are to determine what state agencies and communities can do to better identify, treat and support individuals with mental illness to live meaningful and productive lives in their community, as well as identify and recommend specific community solutions that have the potential to minimize and prevent the exacerbation of chronic mental conditions and support individuals to live meaningful and productive lies in their community.
    “We’ve been designated to look at the large picture of mental health care systems in Kansas, look at people who have accessed mental health care, at those who have not, what barriers there are and what are preventive options,” Gray said. “There can be prevention around substance abuse and early intervention with children and families living with toxic stress. These are options I’d like to see addressed.”
    She noted that stress can affect brain development, and early intervention could make a big difference in helping small children develop in a healthy way.
    “I am not an expert in mental health issues, but I’ve been reaching out to those I consider experts in mental health,” Gray said. “I have a meeting set with Crawford County Mental Health, Crawford County Health, CLASS LTD and the police.”
    The task force had its first meeting July 18 in Topeka.
    “We’ll have four, possibly five more meetings,” Gray said. “For the next meeting they have asked for data from a variety of sources, and we’ll use the data to better inform our recommendations.”
    She said the task force will be together through December, then will issue its report and recommendations to the governor.
    Other task force members are Dr. Rick Goscha of Lawrence, Dr. Karen Countryman-Roswurm of Wichita, Capt. Bill Cochran of Topeka, Judge Tom Webb of Sublette, Dr. Steven Davies of Horton, DR. Rick Gaskill of Wichita, Amanda Adkins of Kansas City, Ric Dalke of Garden City, Dr. Charlie Griffin of Manhattan, Dr. Michael Leeson of Lawrence, Cathy Ramshaw of Topeka, Pastor David Redmond of Concordia, Les Sperling of Lindsborg, Mark Potter of Cheney and Fr. Richard L. Daise of Salina.
    Page 2 of 2 - Gray was born north of Boulder, Colo., and moved to Oklahoma in 1998. She is a graduate of Rogers State University.
    “I migrated here to finish my master’s degree at Pittsburg State University about eight years ago,” Gray said.
    She also served as an instructor and graduate assistant at PSU, and has come to appreciate the good things southeast Kansas offers. Her work at SEK-CAP has also acquainted her with some of the challenges faced by low-income area residents.
    “I believe I can represent southeast Kansas, rural Kansas and people living in poverty,” Gray said.

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