Addressing COVID-Related Behavioral Health Needs in Miami County

A Miami County SPARK Funding Project facilitated by Elizabeth Layton Center




The Coronavirus pandemic has had significant impact on the behavioral health and wellness of many Miami County citizens.  For some, Coronavirus may have created behavioral health problems for the first time.  For others, Coronavirus has worsened behavioral health conditions that were already present.


Disturbances in mood, behavior, relationships, work and/or school performance can be very difficult for individuals, families and our community.   Fortunately, help is available!


What are COVID-related behavioral health problems?

COVID-related behavioral health problems refer to struggles in mood, thinking or behaviors as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  COVID-related behavioral health needs can look different for everyone.  They may be a result of direct or indirect impacts of the Coronavirus.  Below are just some possible examples:

  • Anxiety while awaiting COVID test results for yourself or others
  • Sadness or depression due to COVID-related quarantine and/or self-isolation
  • Trouble transitioning back to school or work tasks following COVID-related interruptions
  • Sleep disturbance related to COVID changes
  • Grief over the loss of previously enjoyed activities or events that can’t happen due to COVID
  • Relationship stress related to COVID requirements
  • Irritability due to financial stressors from COVID-related unemployment
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs in relation to COVID stress
  • Worsening mental health condition as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic


Miami County SPARK Funding Assistance

Section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (the “Fund”) to be used to make payments for specified uses to States and local governments. Miami County received an allocation of funds from the State of Kansas, which received an allocation provided under 601(a) of the Social Security Act.


The funding provided is to help Miami County cover expenses that are:

  1. Necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
  2. Not accounted for in the state or local government budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020; and
  3. Incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.


As a Miami County SPARK funding partner, Elizabeth Layton Center was honored to receive funding to address the COVID-related behavioral health needs of Miami County residents.  Total funding awarded was $300,000.  A large portion of this funding ($200,000) was distributed on 9/21/2020 and all projects must be completed by 12/30/2020.


With the Miami County SPARK funding, ELC is now able to offer the following COVID-related programs through December 30, 2020:

  1. Co-location of behavioral health specialists into Miami County community settings, and
  2. Establishment of a COVID-19 Behavioral Health Services Scholarship Fund for Miami County Residents


Co-Location of Behavioral Health Specialists

One part of ELC’s SPARK-funded project is to hire behavioral health specialists to work within community settings in Miami County.  This will allow Miami County residents to receive COVID-related behavioral health services at new, convenient and non-stigmatizing settings.


Up to four licensed Clinicians will be placed within local primary care clinics through Olathe Health System, and up to six certified Case Managers will be placed across Miami County school districts located in Osawatomie, Louisburg and Paola.  Final placement decisions are made in partnership with school district Superintendents and in accordance with the successful hiring of qualified candidates.  Once placed, ELC’s providers will be available to help identify and address behavioral health challenges that are directly and indirectly related to Coronavirus.  Services may occur face-to-face or by telephone and/or televideo.


ELC’s co-located behavioral health services will be available through referral by Primary Care or School staff, and may also be accessed directly.  Call ELC’s Miami County Intake Coordinator at 913-557-9096.


COVID-19 Behavioral Health Services Scholarship Fund for Miami County Residents

The second part of ELC’s SPARK-funded project is the establishment of a scholarship fund to financially supplement COVID-related behavioral health service access for Miami County residents.  This scholarship fund may be accessed by eligible citizens to help cover costs for ELC’s COVID-related service delivery.


Eligibility: Miami County residents who experience COVID-related behavioral health problems (e.g. behavioral health symptoms directly and/or indirectly related to the Coronavirus pandemic.)  See full list of eligibility criteria below.

  • Miami County resident at the time of COVID-related service delivery
  • Service received between March 1, 2020 – December 30, 2020
  • Service was identified as COVID-related determined by ELC’s service provider and as noted in the Electronic Health Record
  • Client would benefit from scholarship funding to help offset costs of this service (e.g. direct client fees, co-payments, deductible payments, “spend-down” payments)
  • Miami County SPARK funding is available for the COVID-19 Behavioral Health Services Scholarship project


Application: Application for scholarship funding may be made directly by a service recipient, by a community member on behalf of a service recipient, and/or by an ELC staff person on behalf of a service recipient.


To apply, one must complete the COVID-19 Behavioral Health Services Scholarship Fund Application form and submit to ELC’s Billing Department (c/o COVID Scholarship Processing.) If assistance is need in completing the application process, contact ELC’s Miami County Intake Coordinator at 913-557-9096.


Acceptance: A member of ELC’s billing department will review the scholarship application form for eligibility. As funds allow, clients meeting all eligibility requirements defined below will be granted scholarship funding.


Funding will be granted on a first-come-first-serve basis to eligible clients as long as the Miami County SPARK funding is allowable, and no later than the required project end date of December 30, 2020.


Notification: ELC will provide notification of scholarship award by telephone or written communication to the service recipient.


Reporting: To assure accurate use of SPARK funding, ELC is required to provide periodic reports to the Miami County Commissioners, as well as to governmental auditors as required.  Note that in order to preserve privacy, only de-identified data will be provided.


For more information about accessing the Miami County COVID-19 Behavioral Health Services Scholarship fund, please contact ELC’s Intake Coordinator at 913-557-9096.


Click here to download and copy of the Spark application.