Montana Public Radio

Mental Health

House Passes Bills On Mental Health In Montana

Feb 11, 2015
House Majority Leader Ron Ehli.
Courtesy Montana Legislature

House Representative Ron Ehli is the sponsor of House Bills 33, 34 and 35. The intent of all three is to intervene early and try to keep people in their communities.

"People with mental illness do not belong in jail," said Ehli. "They do not belong in our local hospitals. And they do not belong in prison. We can fix this. This is the way to do it. Our communities have been crying for help."

State Of The State Highlights Division Between Parties In Helena

Jan 29, 2015
The Montana Capitol
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

In his State of the State address Wednesday, Governor Steve Bullock mentioned a number of issues dividing the Democrats and Republicans this session. Those include funding infrastructure, funding pre-K education, and keeping a budget surplus of $300 million in case of emergency.

Jim Keane of Butte is one of the many Democrats who stood and cheered as the Governor talked about his proposals.

Mental Health Funding On Thursday's Legislative Agenda

Jan 28, 2015
Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Thursday, the Montana Legislature will hear a bill funding new and expanded intervention for mental health crises. Republican Representative Ron Ehli of Hamilton is carrying the bill, and has spent some time working with the subject.

Lawmakers Consider Mental Health Funding For Children

Jan 22, 2015
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.

Legislative News Roundup - Week 2

Jan 20, 2015
Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

In the second week of the 64th Montana Legislature, two initiatives from Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s budget were opened up in joint appropriations subcommittees.

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
Eliza Wiley

This week on "Capitol Talk:" disagreement over how much money to spend and what to spend it on is at the core of many political disputes at the Montana Legislature.

Both parties agree on the need to improve mental health services, but that's where the agreement ends.

The conflict over state employee pay continues from the last legislative session.

Montana Legislature

Representative Ron Ehli, a Republican from Hamilton, was part of an interim committee that traveled the state for over a year studying the mental health issues. He says committee members, Republican and Democrat alike, came to one conclusion:

“Montana has a mental health crisis."

The response, at least from the Republican side, is a package of bills to enhance existing mental health services at the local level.

Ehli says the proposals total $8 million.

Eck's Bill Would Change Oversight At Warm Springs

Jan 14, 2015
State of Montana

The Montana State Hospital, the state’s only public psychiatric facility, is coming under fire for the way it handles complaints of abuse or neglect. The best known case occurred five years ago, when the state paid $375,000 to settle a complaint by the family of a female patient raped by a convicted sex offender. Democratic lawmaker Jenny Eck of Helena wants the state Department of Justice to handle complaints about the mistreatment of patients

Denise Juneau, Montana superintendent of public instruction.

Public school students and faculty are dealing with more than just academics today; they're also struggling with bullying and various mental and emotional health issues.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction announced today it's been awarded three grants worth over $12 million to address those needs.

School Superintendent Denise Juneau says a 5-year "School Climate Transformation" grant worth over $3 million will help reduce bullying in schools. It will also provide adults with clear guidelines on what to do when they see students being intimidated.

Amy Cilimburg

Producer Amy Cilimburg talks with three Missoula-area professionals: nurse Beth Schenk, and psychotherapists Jen Robohm and Kevin Dohr. These experts share research and their professional and personal experiences around climate change and human health. In this time of rapid change, they offer reasons for hope.

(Broadcast: In Other Words, July 15th, 2014)