Having An Adequate Mental Health System

Having an adequate mental health system for those who are suffering is important, giving people access to the services that they need is key to helping them to be able to thrive. This is especially true for people who are incarcerated so that they can go on to live on healthy, productive lives.

Missoula County has announced a nearly $600,000 grant to increase mental health services in the county’s local prison system. 

This grant has been awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services Addictive and Mental Disorders Division and will provide several purposes: 

According to the press release: “The $584,652 in funding through the department’s County and Tribal Matching Grant program will pay for staff and programming to address mental health and substance abuse issues that often coincide with criminal behavior. It will allow the county to continue providing crucial crisis stabilization services at the Missoula County Detention Facility, which include a jail therapist; a care coordinator who provides case management and peer support, both during incarceration and for up to three months after release; and Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement”.  

In addition to that, the grant will also provide funds to support brand new resources including: 

  • A CIT coordinator that will lead training sessions to law enforcement and first responders on how to best assist someone who is currently in crisis. 
  • A mental health coordinator at Partnership Health Center to communicate coordination across mental health providers, law enforcement, and anyone else seeking relevant information. 
  • A full-time referral and outreach coordinator at Western Montana Medical Center who will provide case management for involuntary mental health commitment cases will also work with law enforcement to provide outreach and early derision work with vulnerable populations.        

Last April, Minnesoula County identified the need for all of these services, and studies show that providing crisis care will actually save the county more money overall.