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Health department program aims to connect community and faith leaders to health resources

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services building.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services building.

The state health department Friday announced the launch of a new office to connect faith and community leaders to health resources.

Montana is joining other states around the country getting federal support to develop an Office of Faith and Community Based Services.

Former state education official Tracy Moseman will lead the health department’s effort.

She explains the idea behind the new office is to help local leaders connect their community to health services.

“We know that nationally, one in four people that are connected to a faith-community will go to their faith leader first before they seek professional mental health supports.”

Moseman hosted several summits in May across the state to hear from community and faith leaders about health issues in their community. Those events will be followed up by training that will help leaders better understand what resources are available.

Moseman says there’s already been interest expressed in supports for families going through suicide or substance abuse treatment.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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