- Associated Press - Sunday, September 20, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana officials have distributed the first 15 percent of a $19 million mental health care package passed this year.

The state Department of Public Health and Human Services this past week finalized the beneficiaries of $2.8 million in grants designated to help people in psychiatric emergencies.

Twenty-nine counties shared $1.8 million of that for community-based crisis centers, police training on psychiatric emergencies and additional county mental health staff.

The other $1 million establishes a pilot program to address youth mental health crises in Billings, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula.

Both programs have received $200,000 less than they were allocated by the Legislature. The remainder will be distributed in the next two years.

Most of the new funds aim to divert people from the state hospital in Warm Springs.

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