MTPR

Mental Health

Alcohol, drug and suicide (combined) deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.
National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

Montana’s state health department has received a $2.1 million grant for a game for school kids. Zoe Barnard with the department explains.

The same week Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula announced it would close its doors Friday, the same organizations in Gallatin and Park and Sweet Grass Counties announced they had received a quarter-million-dollar grant to address youth suicide.

The number of 911 calls in Bozeman was higher last year than the year before. Many of the calls were related to mental health issuesassaults, domestic disturbances, suicides. Now a first of its kind program two years in the making will pair law enforcement with therapists to prevent mental health emergencies.

Research shows that farmers experience rates of especially high anxiety compared to other jobs. What’s more, farmers in rural areas like Montana often have limited access to mental health resources.

In late April, Montana farmer Michelle Erickson-Jones posted a video to Twitter.

In the video, on a windy day against a green field and overcast sky, Erickson-Jones talks about uncertainty around trade, dropping wheat prices, and her issues finding a therapist.

Montana Behavioral Health Alliance Executive Director Mary Windecker testifies at a state health department listening session in Helena August 1, 2018.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s remaining addiction and mental health care providers had a lot riding on the 2019 Legislature. And they walked away from the session cautiously optimistic that they’ll soon be able to rebound from recent tough times. Almost two years ago the state health department was forced to cut almost $50 million to help balance the state budget.

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