MISSOULA — The Western Montana Mental Health Center (WMMHC) offers mental health services along with housing assistance to those with mental illness, and this year they are receiving some extra help.
WMMHC has received some additional grant money this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic to help services in Missoula and Ravalli counties. The grant requires the money to be divided among different programs.
"In Missoula, 70% [of the] money will go towards a jail therapist and care coordinator, 20% will go to All Nations Tribal Health and that’s for outreach for youth," Western Montana Mental Health Center area director Kari Auclaire explained. "And then 10% will be going to Red Willow -- the Learning Center at Red Willow -- for first responders
The money headed to Ravalli County will similarly be split among different programs.
"70% will go to West House and 20% will be going towards covering the crisis line workers covering the crisis line crisis calls that are coming in," Auclaire said. "10% will be offered to community first responders for such things as self-help."
Officials at the West House mental health crisis stabilization center -- which will be receiving 70% of the Ravalli County money -- couldn’t be more excited for the grant money because currently, the money is coming out of the staff pockets.
"We are very excited to get the money. Transportation has become a much bigger issue for us because we have to move people from Missoula coming down here," West House operations manager Bill Hughes said. "So, it's really important. We don’t get reimbursed for that money."
Hughes also says some money will go towards medication costs and a care coordinator position that he says plays a large role in supporting patients through the process and when they are discharged.
Auclaire told MTN News that this extra round of grant money is courtesy of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.