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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Lawmakers Consider Mental Health Funding For Children

Montana Capitol.
Eric Whitney

Today, members of the Montana Legislature heard testimonies of people whose lives would be affected by House Bill 47. The bill would provide aid for children with mental health needs.

Executive Director of Mental Health America of Montana Dan Aune says many rural children with mental illness don’t have access to care.

“I can tell you, being out East, access to counseling, a psychiatrist, a group to go to, they aren’t out there.”

One 11-year-old boy named Ben came forward to speak about how in-school programs affected him.

“I only had one friend, but Mark and Laura taught me how to be a better friend and now I have lots of friends. Having ADHD is hard sometimes, especially at school.”

Overall, Montana ranks 10th in per capita mental health expenditures, but 49th in access to mental health care for children.

No immediate action was taken on the bill. ?

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