By July 2022, a national 988 hotline modeled on 911 is slated to launch for people to reach trained suicide prevention specialists and mental health counselors. Missoula began sending this special crew on emergency mental health calls in November as a pilot project and next month the program will become permanent. It’s one of six mobile crisis response initiatives in Montana and four more local governments applied for state grants this year to form teams. The COVID-19 relief package President Joe Biden signed in March offers states Medicaid funding to jump-start such services.
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