MONTANA COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTERS
Montana's community mental health centers are regional providers of mental health and addiction treatment:
• Western Montana Mental Health Center, central office in Missoula.
• Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center, central office in Miles City.
• Center for Mental Health, central office in Great Falls.
• South Central Regional Mental Health Center, central office in Billings.
These four regional centers provide mental health services ranging from basic to specialized for our most seriously mentally ill adults and emotionally disturbed children. Programs range from traditional outpatient to crisis services, jail diversion programs and addictions services, both outpatient and inpatient, such as the Recovery Center in Missoula.
The proposed cuts strike at the very heart of our programs in two ways. The provider cuts that are being applied to all providers of Medicaid services are one way. The second slashes case management for mentally ill adults by 37 percent and emotionally disturbed children by 41 percent.
The steady erosion to the very foundation of community services, compounded by the proposed cuts, poses serious ramifications for our safety net, which already had some fairly significant holes.
The four regional community mental health centers have and will continue to ask to be part of better solutions to our state’s financial crisis. We firmly believe that there are many things we can do to strengthen mental health and addictions services without stripping them to the bone.
Editor's note: Kathy McGowan has been a longtime representative of the Montana mental health centers.