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As Montana's mental health crisis care crumbles, politicians promise aid

State policymakers have promised more money to aid behavioral health care, but lasting change could be years out.

When budget cuts led Western Montana Mental Health Center to start curtailing its services five years ago, rural communities primarily felt the effect. But as the decline of one of the state’s largest mental health providers has continued, it’s left a vacuum in behavioral health care.

It started in places like Livingston, a town of 8,300 where, in 2018, Western closed an outpatient treatment clinic and told more than 100 patients to travel 30 miles over a mountain pass to Bozeman for stabilizing mental health care. This spring, Western closed that clinic too, a crisis center in one of Montana’...


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