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Enhanced Lewis and Clark County Behavioral Health Crisis Response

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $549,976)

Lewis and Clark County (L&C County) proposes to enhance the law enforcement-behavioral health cross-system collaboration to improve public health and safety, build trust in the community, and improve the outcomes for individuals with mental health disorders (MHDs) or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (MHSUDs), one of the program specific priority areas. A best practice strategy, implemented in November of 2020, to assist in L&C’s local response to mental health crises is the St. Peter’s Hospital Health Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) co-response model with law enforcement. This project is seeking $550,000 for activities to enhance L&C’s MCRT which is necessary for multiple key reasons: to continue to enhance the L&C County behavioral health system as prioritized by county residents, stakeholders, and elected officials; to improve law enforcement skills in behavioral health co-response as identified by city and county law enforcement; to improve health outcomes and reduce harm for individuals with MHDs or MHSUDs as identified in the data; and to plan for sustainability. This project’s outcomes improve the MCRT to respond effectively and fill gaps in services, improve law enforcement capacity and plan for how to reach more citizens in the rural parts of the tri-county area, build stronger community relationships, and improve the structure for billing and sustainability. 

L&C County (64,432 pop.) includes two primary municipalities, Helena (34,256 pop, the largest city) and East Helena, with additional small communities (<1,000 pop) spread throughout the county, including the rural towns of Lincoln, Augusta, Marysville, Craig, and Wolf Creek (considered urban clusters). L&C County is neighbored by two other counties: Broadwater (6,237 pop.) and Jefferson (12,221 pop.). Substance misuse, growing mental health concerns, high rates of suicide, and limited resources, are significant issues in the tri-county area. In the planning phase of this project, stakeholders will determine the feasibility of expansion to these more rural parts of the tri-county area. 

The lead applicant is Lewis and Clark Public Health of L&C County. The partner applicants are St. Peter’s Health (subrecipient, mental health, lead MCRT), the City of Helena Police Department, and the L&C County Sheriff’s Department (law enforcement). The Behavioral Health Systems Improvement Leadership Team, made of additional partners,that will help guide this work. St. Peter’s Health will use grant funds to participate in the planning process, build community relationships, and plan for sustainability.  L&C County is not a previous recipient of JMHCP or Connect and Protect.

Date Created: September 26, 2023