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American Recovery Plan Committee Approves Plan to Deliver More Than $10 Million to Bolster Montana Mental Health Services, Substance Use Disorder Programs

By June 8, 2021No Comments

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Montana’s American Recovery Plan – Health (ARPA-Health) commission met last week.
The member of the ARPA-Health Commission are:
  • Sen. Bob Keenan (R-Bigfork)
  • Sen. Carl Glimm (R-Kila)
  • Sen. Mary McNally (D-Billings)
  • Rep. Matt Regier (R-Kalispell)
  • Rep. Terry Moore (R-Billings)
  • Rep. Frank Garner (R-Kalispell)
  • Rep. Mary Caferro (D-Helena)
  • Adam Meier, Director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services
  • Anita Milanovich, General Counsel to Governor Gianforte
  • Charlie Brereton, Health Care Policy Advisor to Governor Gianforte
At that meeting, the Addictive and Mental Disorders Division presented their plan to use the ARPA federal funds for the SAMHSA block grants.
NAMI Montana and Disability Rights of Montana both supported this effort in public comment.
The ARPA-Health Commission approved the request.
The ARPA-Health website lays out the entire ARPA-Health effort. I have copied the section with the details on the SAMHSA/Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder grant below.

SAMHSA/Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder – $10,500,000

For SAMHSA, it is the intent of the legislature that the executive consider use of the SAMHSA funds above for the purposes of the HEART fund and for suicide prevention, including the use of the Utah model for suicide prevention that includes social media outreach, and for potential use in the department of corrections.

Substance Use Block Grant

Funds are intended for prevention, crisis care, treatment and recovery for individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD). They will assist with developing a National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) Affiliate in Montana to support recovery housing expenses. The funds will also expand access to Peer-led Recovery Supported Communities by funding four drop-in centers in areas that currently have limited resources and demonstrated need for behavioral health services. The funds will also be used to develop substance abuse specific crisis care.
Montana will also receive over $5 million to expand substance use primary prevention. Montana is required to use at least 20% of the Substance Abuse Block Grant for prevention; this plan will allow Montana to exceed the requirements and be consistent with the Governor’s HEART initiative. This will include funding for communities to develop their own initiatives as well as for schools implementing PAX Good Behavior Game or similar school-based/family-oriented evidence-based strategies that promote enhanced social-emotional behaviors and self-regulation.
The public may offer suggestions for funding within the requirements of the program for prevention, treatment, recovery support, and infrastructure related to the substance abuse block grant. Substance Abuse Block Grant comment form

Mental Health Block Grant

$900,000 will be used to increase access to and coordination among the existing Montana suicide prevention Help Lines, as well as incorporate chat and text capabilities. The funding will also assist with the implementation of Montana’s 9-8-8 line, which will go live in summer of 2022.
Montana will receive $750,000 to serve individuals with severe and disabling mental illness. The funds will be used in part to provide three additional PATH sites in the areas of the state where gaps currently exist (northeast, central, southwest). The additional PATH sites will ensure all areas of Montana are covered with resources to help connect housing and assistance with employment and SSI/SSDI benefits.
Montana will receive $500,000 to serve youth at risk of developing adult mental illness or with severe emotional disturbance. There is a required 10% set-aside for first episode psychosis. These funds are intended to expand access to services by establishing additional sites and to fund community workers to connect individuals to behavioral health services.
Montana will receive $500,000 to service prison and jail populations with mental illness. These funds are intended to provide prison and jail re-entry and enhanced discharge from inpatient settings to reduce risks of COVID-19 transmission during the transition to a community-based setting. The funding will include care coordination services to ensure continuity of care for patients.
Montana will receive $200,000 to provide mental health first responder training and resilience training to firefighters and emergency medical services professionals across the state.
Montana will receive $300,000 to develop and fund mental health promotion activities in communities across the state. The public may offer suggestions for funding within the requirements of the program for all programs under the mental health block grant funding. Mental Health Block Grant Comment form.
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Thanks to all of NAMI Montana’s supporters and volunteers. We would not be able to be there to advocate for essential programs like the ARPA-Health Block Grant without you.
Take care,
Matt Kuntz
Executive Director
NAMI Montana

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