NewsMissoula County


Missoula County Commission to discuss crisis support mill levy

Posted at 10:05 AM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 12:05:11-04

MISSOULA - The Missoula County Commission is set to discuss the proposed crisis support mill levy on Thursday.

If approved funds would support people experiencing mental health, addiction, or housing crises.

The Mobile Support Team (MST) is one program started during the pandemic that could use some of the funds generated from a levy.

MST Operations Manager John Petroff was a firefighter in Missoula for 15 years before stepping into his new role with the MST.

"I think it's a service that is long overdue," said Petroff who helps bridge the gap between 911 callers, first responders, and social workers.

Missoula mobile support units
Missoula's Mobile Support Team helps stabilize people who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

"Missoula has a limited amount of mental health support right now," noted MST clinician Quinn Mawhinney. "So there's long waiting lists to even get to see a counselor, to see a therapist."

Mawhinney noted the MST includes case facilitators who follow up with callers, "we could help you figure out where to go and what to do."

Petroff says they're losing one of those positions though, "right now, we have a team of 2.5 full-time positions, we're being cut down to 1.5 times for this next year."

Petroff noted it's a funding issue.

"Right now we're focusing on trying to get our vans up and running for 15 hours a day, just with the financial state that we're in right now we're having to make cuts in certain areas. That's one of the areas that we have to sacrifice." - Mobile Support Team Operations Manager John Petroff

The program is funded by both city and county funds. "And we try to offset with grants as much as possible," said Petroff.

The Mobile Support Team is just one program that could be funded by the crisis support mill levy.

The meeting will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday in the Sophie Moiese room of the Courthouse annex, and virtually via Microsoft Teams.