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AWARE Ink Newsletter

A Note From Matt Bugni

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones well. For many, this time of year brings along a sense of renewal or new beginnings. With spring upon us, colors begin coming back to our lives and the sun starts feeling warmer… with the exception of a few wintry days in Montana! I don’t know about you, but it seems there is simply more joy in the air this time of year.

Indeed, there will be joy in the air on April 24, when we celebrate our 3rd Annual AWARE Day. This day of celebration is the result of a Corporate Congress bill written by an AWARE team member, designating a day to celebrate the amazing people we serve, our incredible team and to help bring attention to the work we do, while also raising a few dollars to support our mission.

We celebrated our first-ever AWARE Day in 2022 and we are very much looking forward to this year’s event. I invite you to follow along on our Facebook page on April 24 and encourage you to share with your family and friends. If you believe in the work we do and love seeing people succeed as much as I do, I hope you will consider making a donation in whatever amount is meaningful to you.

To get things started, I am excited to share that I will match the first $500 donated on April 24. Please take advantage of this and double your impact!

Speaking of impact. You’ve consistently heard from me that community-based behavioral health is critical and must be invested in, particularly in Montana when mental health needs are at an all-time high. I am encouraged and optimistic by the direction of the HB872 Behavioral Health Systems for Future Generations Commission, led by Representative Bob Keenan, Senator John Esp, and Charlie Brereton, Director of DPHHS. I appreciate the thoughtful approach to receive input from constituents and content matter experts on important topics such as disabilities and mental health.

Recommendations to the commission have included investing in preventative services like case management, home support services, and community group homes which allow Montanans to live with more dignity and respect and saves taxpayers from funding high-cost crisis-driven programs.

Thank you for taking the time to read and gain a better understanding of the HB872 Commission. Your continued advocacy is not only welcomed but needed.

A prime example of investing in programs and services that prevent crisis level care is early childhood services and Early Head Start (EHS). In this issue of Ink, we will highlight AWARE’s team who works daily to extend experiences to children and families that are strength-based and rooted in nurturing and responsive relationships. These experiences are guided by innovative, reflective, and evidence-based practices that result in positive outcomes for children and families. Please take the time to read the great stories in this issue of Ink. I have no doubt you will be inspired.

As always, thank you for being a part of the AWARE team. Your commitment to helping us help people live independent lives is crucial to our success and we are grateful for you.


Matt Bugni – CEO

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