Hamilton’s own representative, Ron Ehli, is making news these days with his mental health bill in the Legislature. It stands in contrast to Gov. Bullock’s proposal in that it focuses on local mental health crisis centers instead of state facilities targeted in the governor’s plan.
Ehli’s plan is actually a pretty good one. Local crisis centers can help those with mental illness transition smoothly back into normal society while receiving support from both professionals and their family. Being in the state mental hospital in Warm Springs can keep them away from that important support network. While the state facilities are certainly needed, local centers are just as important. Additionally, they can take some of the strain off of the state-level institutions.
Hopefully the rest of the Bitterroot’s legislators will get on board with Ehli’s plan. Mental health is a big issue in Ravalli County and Montana as a whole. Local crisis centers would be a big step in the right direction to addressing that problem.