Big Sky Roundup

State to invest $600K to train professionals to work with patients with developmental disabilities

By: - January 30, 2024 3:12 pm

The Montana State Capitol in Helena on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. (Photo by Mike Clark for the Daily Montanan)

Montana is investing $600,000 in grants for certification and training for professionals working with Montanans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Governor’s Office on Tuesday announced he was moving forward with the recommendation from the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations Commission, which is tasked with advising Gov. Greg Gianforte on how to spend $300 million allocated for behavioral health in the state.

The money is slated to be sent to five service providers as a one-time grant towards certifying Direct Support Professionals and sponsoring access to training for healthcare professionals and behavioral health staff working with individuals with developmental disabilities.

“By investing in our direct care workforce, we are enhancing the quality of care in Montana and promoting better outcomes,” Gianforte said in a statement.

The commission is tasked with developing recommendations to the governor towards stabilizing behavioral health and developmental disabilities service providers, increasing mental health providers in the state and supporting the establishment of care facilities for those with intellectual disabilities.

Earlier this month Gianforte’s office touted a $8 million allocation towards mobile crisis response and stabilization services, as well as the development of a crisis worker curriculum and certification course.

In December, the state announced $7.5 million toward the completion of county court-ordered forensic fitness evaluations, as the backlog of uncompleted evaluations led to a backlog of people to be seen at the state hospital.

Another $10 million was sent to provide one-time grants to community providers offering behavioral health care or developmental disability services to Montanans.

The commission will meet again on Tuesday, March 5 at the University of Providence campus in Great Falls.

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