Montana newspapers report on mental health
In late 2017, Montana legislators voted to substantially cut funding for mental health care, in response to a budget shortfall. In the wake of the budget cuts, a group of Montana newsrooms, in collaboration with High Country News and the Solutions Journalism Network, explored how communities are preventing the state’s mental health crisis from worsening. What we found was a rise in informal treatment options: Rather than replacing the mental health workers whose jobs disappeared, communities are building on-the-ground care networks. The effects of that shift on Montana’s mental health system are still emerging. This series is just the beginning of a statewide conversation about what a successful system could look like.