Montana Public Radio

Mental Health


The dialogue around substance abuse and mental health disorders, when it happens at all, is often shrouded in shame, blame and guilt. An event in Missoula this weekend is aiming to change that, and also to celebrate people in recovery. 

Billings Clinic in Billings, MT.
Courtesy Billings Clinic

The first-ever Montana medical residency for psychiatrists was announced today at Billings Clinic.

Many of Montana’s poorest and most vulnerable people — and the health care providers who serve them — are anxiously awaiting news from Governor Steve Bullock this week. Bullock is expected to release his plan to restore some funding to health programs for the state’s poor and disabled that have been devastated by budget cuts over the last year.

MTPR Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney is here now to talk about the upcoming announcement.

Kirsten Pabst at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Missoula on July 19, 2018.
Maxine Speier

Last year the city of Missoula had 324 violent crimes, an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2011. Law enforcement say the meth epidemic is to blame, and Thursday announced that they’re addressing it with a local, state and federal partnership.

Suicide rates rose across the U.S. from 1999 to 2016.
Centers for Disease Control

The suicide rate in Montana is more than twice the national average, that’s according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among the counties with the highest suicide rate in Montana is Butte/Silver Bow. Karen Sullivan is the Health Officer for Butte Silver Bow. MTPR's Beau Baker spoke with Sullivan about why suicide rates are so high in Montana.

Suicide rates rose across the U.S. from 1999 to 2016.
Centers For Disease Control

Montana has the highest suicide rate in the country.


A group in the Flathead Valley is trying to bring more training and awareness about postpartum depression to the area by hosting a comedy show and fundraiser this weekend.

Having a baby was supposed to be the happiest time of Emily Lucas’s life. At least, that’s what movies, books and pop-culture implied.

Paintings on display at the 'Stomp The Stigma' art show at the Western Montana Mental Health Center.
Nicky Ouellet

For Fred Waters, painting isn’t so much about crafting a perfect piece of art for others to see. Instead, painting gives him a chance to quiet the constant racket in his head and focus on one detail at a time.

"For a few of us, the painting is a way to express feelings or allow ourself to have certain feelings. Because like for me, life gets overwhelmingly scary and there’s a lot of stuff I want to numb out and don't deal with anymore," he says.

Paula Buckley swaps out signs at the former Sinopah House in Kalispell, Friday, March 30, 2018. The therapeutic girls’ group home is being turned into a home for adults with developmental disabilities.
Nicky Ouellet

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Sinopah House will be converted to a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. Fox Creek will serve adults with mental illness.

The only group home in the Flathead Valley that offered therapy specifically tailored to abused and traumatized girls shut its doors last Friday, the latest casualty of state-level budget cuts.

Senator Jon Tester, Helena Veteran Center staff, and local veterans, pose for ribbon cutting at the center's opening ceremony, Friday March 9, 2018 in Helena.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new veterans services and counseling center celebrated its grand opening in Helena today.

Eric Kettenring, the vet center director, says Helena has never had a place where veterans can go that is dedicated to giving them mental health services.

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