Governor Laura Kelly Makes Appointments for 988 Mental Health Lifeline, Sheriff Gene Ward Appointed

TOPEKA – After signing a bipartisan bill to fund the statewide suicide prevention hotline 988…

Governor Laura Kelly Makes Appointments for 988 Mental Health Lifeline, Sheriff Gene Ward Appointed
Governor Laura Kelly Makes Appointments for 988 Mental Health Lifeline, Sheriff Gene Ward Appointed

TOPEKA – After signing a bipartisan bill to fund the statewide suicide prevention hotline 988 earlier this year, Governor Laura Kelly today announced her appointments to the 988 Coordinating Council. The Council will advise the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) on the implementation of the 988 hotline.

This round of appointments are as follows:

Patrick Fucik, National Director of State Government Affairs for T-Mobile, Overland Park
Nicolas Wood, Associate Director of InterHab, Topeka
Monica Kurz, VP of External Programming, Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ, Shawnee
Dr. Russell Klumpp, Major/Bureau Chief, Topeka Police Department, Berryton
Kenneth Nelson, GIS Section Manager at Kansas Geological Survey, Lawrence

The Governor also made the following appointments to the board earlier this month:

Sheriff Gene Ward, Sheriff of Seward County, Liberal
Andy Brown, Behavioral Health Services for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Topeka
Zack Odell, Chief Executive Officer at S&T Communications, Colby
James “Paul” Davis, Director of Emergency Services for Johnson County, Gardner
Colin Thomasset, Chief Executive Officer at Wheat State Healthcare, Topeka
Molly Perkins, Case Manager with Johnson County Government Mental Health, Olathe

In June, Governor Kelly signed Senate Bill 19 to fund and regulate 988 as the official 24/7, three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. As of July 16, Kansans and all Americans can call 988 for help during mental health and substance abuse emergencies. The operation will be supported with $10 million in annual appropriations from the state and will be overseen by the 988 Coordinating Council.