LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Budget cuts threaten public health

Editor,

The Montana Legislature is set to put into motion massive budget cuts to public health funding.

The proposed funding cuts include a decrease in reimbursement of 41 percent for case management, as well as a 3.5 percent cut for all other children’s mental health services.

These cuts come on the heels of a mounting public health crisis in Montana. Over the past several years our state has seen a rise in suicide, childhood mental illness, foster care numbers, and a growing drug epidemic.

In response to the concerns of our families and local teams, Youth Dynamics has no plans to suspend services or lay off staff in the Miles City area or in any of our other locations.

We are not willing to turn our back on vulnerable children and families in need of support. We recognize the reality of this situation, and will continue to advocate for the restoration of funds. We are concerned about the pending cuts to public health funding, but we will conduct business as usual by continuing to search for efficiencies internally and alternative sources of funding.

Youth Dynamics is concerned the decision to cut funding could have a long-term negative impact on our state. We have a vested interest in Montana, and would like to work with the Department of Public Health and Human Services on how to best manage the budget cuts to insure the best outcomes for Montana.

Youth Dynamics has been honored to serve Montana communities for 36 years, and looks forward to providing services in the many years to come.

Peter Degel, PhD

Miles City

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