New Funding Will Support Pregnant Women's Addiction, Behavioral Health Treatment

Nov 19, 2018

The state health department announced it's getting $5.6 million in grant funding to help pregnant women who are struggling with addiction or other behavioral health problems.

The health department's Jen Rieden says it can be hard for women to find treatment beyond basic pregnancy care outside of Montana's big cities. 

"If you're in one area of the state that doesn't have care, you may have to travel to Billings or Missoula or one of the larger areas to get services. This will make it so all of her services are done within her practice right there," Rieden says.  

$3.2 million from the federal government will be paired with up to $2.4 million from the Montana Healthcare Foundation to help medical practices across the state that treat pregnant women, hire social workers or other specialists. They'll help diagnose behavioral or addiction problems, and either treat them or plug them into treatment elsewhere.

Rieden says care for pregnant women should also be extended beyond traditional medical care.

"To help her find resources within her community on other things she may need, such as housing, transportation, food."

Goals of the five-year grants include reducing rates of drug-positive newborns and the number of children in Montana's foster care system. The Healthcare Foundation says the model of treatment the grants are funding has been proven successful in other states.

Healthcare practices can start applying for the grants now.