Mental Health

Mental Health Shortage Areas in Kansas

The federal Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designation identifies medically underserved areas eligible for several federal programs. To be designated as a Mental Health HPSA, areas in Kansas must meet three criteria. It must:

1. Be a rational service area for the delivery of care, and

2. The area has a population-to-psychiatrist ratio greater than or equal to 30,000:1;

3. Mental health professionals in contiguous areas are over utilized, excessively distant or inaccessible to residents of the area under consideration.

Areas designated as Mental Health HPSAs are eligible for participation in the State Loan Repayment Program of Kansas and health personnel recruitment assistance from the National Health Service Corps. The recruitment assistance available to a HPSA depends on the degree of shortage assigned it by the NHSC. Areas may be eligible for placement of National Health Service Corps scholarship recipients or loan repayment for psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, clinical or counseling psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychiatric nurse specialists, and licensed professional counselors.

Click here to view a map of Mental Health HPSAs in Kansas.

For more information on Mental Health HPSAs, contact Ellan Spivey in the KDHE Bureau of Community Health Systems, (785) 296-3135.  

Information on recruitment and loan repayment assistance through the National Health Service Corps is available by contacting the National Health Service Corps advisor for Kansas at the Recruitment Training and Support Center toll-free at (866) 897-7872 or by email at

Mental Health Centers in Kansas

Twenty-nine licensed community health centers, operating in over 120 locations around the state, provide mental health services to rural and urban populations throughout Kansas.  Click here to visit the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas website.

Sowing the Seeds of Hope

The Sowing the Seeds of Hope program is an organized coalition among seven Midwestern states: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas, supported by grant funding from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration. 

The goal of the "Sowing the Seeds of Hope" program is to enhance access to mental health services to farm and ranch families. 

The program grew out of the recognition that access to behavioral health care is a problem particular to the agricultural population. Many farm and ranch families lack adequate health insurances but possess too many assets to qualify for Medicaid coverage.  Negative stigma about mental health and substance abuse treatment in small communities keeps many farmers and ranchers from seeking assistance. Furthermore, the numbers of mental health care practitioners are far less in rural agricultural areas than in urban areas.  Available providers often lack understanding of the culture of persons who work the land for their livelihood. Finally, in the Midwest, stress due to drought conditions is certainly on the rise. 

In Kansas, the Kansas State University Department of Family Studies and Human Services program manages the Sowing the Seeds of Hope program, which includes operating the Kansas Rural Family Helpline that provides free confidential assistance and referrals through a toll-free assistance line, as well as other programs to support farm and ranch families.  The KDHE Bureau of Community Health Systems, along with Kansas State, serves on the regional Sowing the Seeds of Hope advisory board.

You can get more information on Sowing the Seeds of Hope in Kansas by calling (785) 532-2030 or sending an email to