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HomeNewsMontana NewsGovernor Announces $700,000 Investment to Expand Family Peer Support Services in Montana

Governor Announces $700,000 Investment to Expand Family Peer Support Services in Montana

Governor Greg Gianforte has announced a $700,000 investment to expand peer support services for Montana families and caregivers, in line with recommendations from the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations (BHSFG) Commission. This funding is part of the governor’s commitment to reform and enhance Montana’s behavioral health and developmental disabilities services, following last year’s allocation of $300 million.

“Parents and caregivers raising children with behavioral health challenges often sacrifice their own well-being,” Governor Gianforte emphasized. “This investment will enhance access to crucial services for Montana families and ensure caregivers receive the support they need. I appreciate the BHSFG Commission for their recommendation and look forward to its implementation.”

Family peer support services are provided by individuals with firsthand experience raising children with behavioral health challenges or special healthcare needs. They offer emotional support, guidance through the healthcare system, and connections to additional resources.

The initiative will distribute five one-time grants to organizations experienced in delivering these services, particularly those supporting youth with serious emotional disturbance. Funding will be allocated over a two-year period.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Director Charlie Brereton highlighted the significant impact of these services on caregivers, noting their critical role in maintaining mental, physical, and spiritual health amid caregiving responsibilities.

A recent study by Montana’s Peer Network indicated that 94% of recipients of family peer support services reported improved quality of life, with 87% noting enhanced care for their children.

The BHSFG Commission, established through House Bill 872, is responsible for recommending the allocation of the governor’s historic investment. Their focus includes stabilizing service providers, strengthening the workforce, integrating physical and behavioral health care, and supporting facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Details about the commission and grant applications for family peer supporters will be available on the BHSFG website starting mid-July.

By: Montana Newsroom staff

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