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Back when he was in school, Nate had access to physical therapy and other services that helped him be more independent. He’d even gotten strong enough to walk around his high school track. But when he graduated, those services ended.

For eight years, Nate’s condition and quality of life worsened while he was placed on a waiting list for in-home services. Eight years - it was heart-breaking. But that was before the Partnership for Hope.

Today, Nate is doing much better. His physical therapy is going well and he’s able to communicate through a new computer system. He told me that his goal was to someday be able to walk around that track again - and thanks to the Partnership for Hope, he’s getting closer to reaching that goal each and every day.

Because of Missourians like Nate, each year I’ve been in office, we’ve made it a priority to chip away at that waiting list.

And now I’m proud to report, this year that waiting list will no longer exist.

Our friends and neighbors will now get the life-changing services they need, when they need them.

On mental illness - as tragedies across the nation exposed dangerous gaps in our country’s mental health safety net - we took action here in Missouri:

We added new mental health liaisons at each of our 29 community mental health centers, so that our law enforcement officers can focus on being cops, not frontline caregivers.

We launched seven targeted emergency room response teams, to ease the burden on our doctors and nurses.

And we made a historic investment in Mental Health First Aid training, so that more teachers, clergy, first responders and ordinary citizens can identify the signs of mental illness and know what to do.

Together, we are training more than 1,000 Missourians on these proven, life-saving techniques. And with your help this session, we’ll train thousands more.

But as any member of law enforcement can tell you, there are those for whom preventative services are simply not enough. Some mental illnesses are so severe that those suffering from them are a danger to themselves and others.

Since 1851, this care has been provided at Fulton State Mental Hospital, Missouri’s only maximum security psychiatric facility - a facility that is crumbling and in desperate need of replacement.

It’s inadequate to the needs of patients. It’s dangerous for the staff who care for them. And it’s an embarrassment to our state.

Now is the time to take action.

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