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Legislative commission to hold mental health town hall in Billings

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Posted at 8:48 AM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 10:48:23-05

BILLINGS - When it comes to mental health in Montana, a legislative commission wants to know what's working, what's not, and what are possible solutions.

The Behavioral Health Commission will hold its first town hall meeting on Wednesday in Billings.

The commission came about from House Bill 872, which allocated $300 million to help the behavioral health system.

The commission, which includes legislators and personnel from the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services, has been meeting to figure out how to best spend that money.

So far, it has put $10 million toward workers for residential treatment, $7 million for evaluations, $7 million for mobile crisis and response and $500,000 toward crisis worker curriculum.

"Curriculum care, care for people who are in behavioral health need,” Rep. Mike Yakawich, R-Billings said about the meeting. “We're talking about prevention. We're going to be looking at family and youth. And when we have these commission meetings, what happens is ideas percolate from that. Initiatives come from that. So actually, the great ideas are from the community.”

Yakawich says the commission wants to put money toward intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The listening session is at the Billings Public Library Royal Johnson community room from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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