Shodair Childrens’ Hospital plans to open a new outpatient mental-health clinic in Missoula early next year. Officials say it will help address a lack of mental health services in the area.
The clinic opening January 6 at Community Medical Center will offer psychiatric evaluations, medication management and therapy programs, among other services.
Shodair CEO Craig Aasved says another outpatient clinic is also in the works in Butte. He says the details on that clinic aren't finalized, but are expected in the first quarter of 2020.
“Each one of these communities is trying to address mental health and don’t really have the right resources and have reached out to us," Aasved said.
Shodair opened its first outpatient services in Helena in October 2018.
John Brewer, director of operations at Shodair, says that they saw 9 patients that month.
“Fast forward 12 months into October again and we saw 600," Brewer said. "So the growth that has been pretty large here and we have patients driving from, I think we're at 47 counties in Montana.”
Brewer says expanding outpatient clinics in western Montana will limit how far patients need to drive for care. He says a lot of the mental-health care in Montana is received once it reaches a point of crisis and hopefully with more treatment options, care can start earlier.