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Legislature Works To Make Sure Those Most In Need Get Mental Health Services

Wyoming Legislature

A bill that prioritizes certain populations for access to state-funded mental health services passed the Wyoming House and is on its way to the Senate.

Wyoming Department of Health Deputy Director Stefan Johansson said during the last interim session his agency worked with the legislature's Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Committee to craft House Bill 38 and to narrow down which populations should be priority.

"So essentially moving away from what's really a grant-funded general access model in our community mental health system now," said Johansson, "to something that really prioritizes clients that the state should first and foremost provide community mental health and substance services to."

Johansson said those priority groups include high needs children and families, as well as people who are involved with the justice system.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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