The nation is being directly affected by the inability of Congress to pass a budget. The budget is focusing on defense and the wall, and turning the nation’s attention from the mental health funding losses rural communities are suffering.

Community health services and mental health services east of Billings are drying up. Their funding can be cut past just the bare minimum. The transportation from these far-lying towns to Billings for health care is getting harder and harder to access. The rural population is aging also. As a state and nation, we need to focus on citizens’ general health and needs.

The Billings Gazette ran an article recently stating that the suicide rate for persons in agriculture is higher than for any other occupation. We need to keep the mental health services in all rural communities open and thriving. Our state and nation are great enough to continue to fund community health operations. Not to mention, it is a moral obligation.

Please keep focused beyond the tweets, secret memos, abortion hype and other attention-grabbing alerts. Let’s work to keep our state and county strong — and healthy.

Carole Jones

Billings

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