State to invest $80M in community mental health services

HELENA — State officials said Monday they plan to invest $16 million annually over the next five years to add capacity for current community-based services for people with severe and disabling mental illness.

The funding, under an existing Medicaid waiver benefit option, will increase the number of people already receiving services from 357 to 750 by 2025, state officials said.

“This funding will address a significant need in our state and dramatically increase the state’s ability to help more Montanans through community-based services, as opposed to more expensive options such as in a nursing facility,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in a news release.

The proposal will serve more people discharged from Montana State Hospital, Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center and those using the Money Follows the Person program, officials said.