The suicide rate in Montana is nearly twice the national average, and for years, has ranked among the highest in the U.S.
As part of the University of Montana’s Brain Initiative, internationally recognized psychiatrist and researcher Dr. John Rush will speak in Missoula on Wednesday. He’ll deliver a public lecture on why effective treatment for suicidality and depression is still elusive for so many.
He says people have lost faith in the way doctors approach suicide prevention treatment.
“People now become experts in certain areas claiming that their particular treatment is good for everybody with depression - whether it’s psychotherapy, a medication, a particular device - and that makes us all skeptical because no one treatment works for all,” Rush says.
While it’s a burden, Dr. Rush says it’s up to the patient to seek out second opinions when treatment doesn’t feel right.
“Changing horses when the first horse doesn’t work very well, that clearly can be done because you have therapists, and you have medication,” he says.
Limited access to specialized treatment for depression and suicide in rural areas creates added challenges for Montanans. But Dr. Rush urges patients to do what it takes to find help, even if that means crossing state lines.
“If you had any other condition and you were not functioning well, you would get on a plane, get on a train, a bus and get there,” Rush says.
Dr. John Rush will be speaking at the University of Montana Wednesday night at 6:15 p.m.