Crisis centers could help Idaho's mentally ill

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho is looking to neighboring Montana for inspiration in the creation of a trio of crisis centers designed to serve the state's mentally ill.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter are asking the Legislature to approve a $5 million budget for the centers.

That's enough money to get them up and running in three cities by the end of the year.

The facilities are planned for Boise, Idaho Falls and Coeur d'Alene. They are patterned after the Community Crisis Center in Billings, Mont., which has proven successful in the years since it opened in June 2006.

Idaho mental health advocates say the centers will keep more mentally ill people out of Idaho's jails and emergency rooms.

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