Montana Public Radio

Mental Health

Montana will receive a federal grant to establish COVID-19 crisis counseling services. The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Wednesday that it has approved crisis counseling assistance for Montanans struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Montana Air National Guard planes.
UNK - Montana Air National Guard

A U.S. Department of Defense report says the National Guard’s suicide rate is higher than its active duty and Reserve counterparts. DoD says there are several suicide risk factors in the military, including a cultural stigma surrounding psychological health care.

The Montana Air National Guard is testing out one of 23 pilot programs in the nation aimed at getting care to soldiers in new ways. MTPR’s Edward O’Brien introduces us to a career Montana military officer who, during one of her life’s darkest chapters, reached out for help and was thrown a lifeline.

Montana’s June 2 primary election is less than a month off, and candidates are busy carving out positions, and campaigning as best they can during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of them participated in last Thursday's online forum discussing what health care providers say is the state’s rapidly deteriorating behavioral health system.

Miserable looking man sitting looking though a window.
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The state health department is expanding hours and staffing of phone lines for mental health therapy and suicide prevention. This comes amid a surge of requests from Montanans seeking emotional support during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip, the services provided by Montana’s mental health and addiction clinics are getting even more complicated.

Those who survived the 2017 state budget cuts have hung on by their fingernails ever since. And it may get a lot more difficult.

Community leaders, health care providers and media got their first look at the overall health of Yellowstone County with the release of the latest health needs assessment on Feb. 10.  Mental health, substance abuse and obesity top the list.

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The Bullock administration Monday announced its plan to double the number of Montanans receiving community-based mental health care treatment over the next five years .

Some mental health care providers in the state are still stinging from nearly 3 year old state budget cuts.

Farming and ranching have always been considered risky. But more extreme weather events, low prices and uncertainty have led to higher rates of bankruptcy and suicide across the U.S. Recently 700 women ag producers gathered in locations across six western states to learn about ways to reduce stress on farms and ranches. 

Limited access to therapists, cost and stigma around mental health can make it difficult for rural Montanans to get the care they need. Now, Bozeman researchers are testing and adapting a new online program that’s been shown to side-step those barriers and reduce depression and anxiety for adults.

Corin Cates-Carney

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. 

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