FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2015
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, (406) 444-9725
Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Governor Bullock Announces Funding for Short-Term Mental Health Care
Helena, Mont.—Governor Steve Bullock announced today that $1 million in funding is available over the next two years to reimburse health facilities that provide short-term voluntary inpatient care for individuals in mental health crisis.
The 2015 Legislature appropriated the funds to divert individuals from commitment to the Montana State Hospital. The program will serve approximately 100 individuals over the next two years.
“This funding will provide immediate help to Montanans experiencing a mental health crisis, and ensure fewer people require care at the Montana State Hospital,” Bullock said. “This is yet another example of how Montana has strengthened the entire mental health system, from community-based services to acute care facilities.”
Treatment in this program is limited to 14 days, and care will be provided either at hospital behavioral health units or through licensed mental health centers with an inpatient crisis stabilization program.
The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) will have contracts in place soon with providers in Billings, Helena, Missoula, Bozeman, Butte, Hamilton and Helena.
DPHHS expects to gather valuable information through its data reporting requirements. The agency will gather demographic information, the reasons for treatment and the placement of individuals after the short-term stay.
As part of his Executive Budget for the current biennium, Bullock proposed and secured from the 2015 legislature historic investments in mental health services to ensure the treatment and safety of individuals. This week, Bullock announced a new treatment facility for Montanans committed to Montana State Hospital due to alleged or adjudicated criminal actions. Last week, Bullock announced $3 million in additional funding for home and community-based services. This is in addition to $1.8 million for jail diversion and crisis intervention strategies for people facing a mental health crisis, $1 million award for a youth mental health crisis diversion pilot projects, and $815,000 in funding allocated for 24/7 emergency care coverage for individuals in a mental health crisis.