Montana Public Radio

Mental Health

Crystal Methampetamine, or "meth."
File photo (PD)

Montana lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, along with state agency workers and members of the public convened in Helena Saturday with one big problem to discuss.

"Without question, everyone in here, in this room, every citizen in this state, every resident of my community is affected by methamphetamine."

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

There were two suicides in Great Falls over the Christmas holiday weekend. State lawmakers are bringing several bills related to suicide prevention in the 2017 legislative session that starts Monday.

Ida Follette(r) and her husband Darrell Follette speaking about the suicide of their daughter Chelle Rose Follette, aged 13, at their home. Taken Feb. 2011, Poplar, MT on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
Mike Albans

Montana’s suicide rate is nearly double the national average. In the last two years, more than 550 Montanans killed themselves. Twenty-seven of them were adolescents.

(PD)

Half a dozen health care systems in Montana are sharing more than $700,000 in grants to make mental or behavioral health care easier to get.

The Montana Healthcare Foundation says it's making the grants to support better healthcare for people who have a combination of medical problems and mental illness and/or addiction. It plans to award more than $3 million to the initiative over the next two years.

  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.

Barbara Dryden, center, and Richard Blank, to her left, tell Governor Steve Bullock about the challenges family caregivers face Monday at Missoula Aging Services.
Kim Hutcheson, Missoula Aging Services

Governor Steve Bullock and Democratic State Senator Diane Sands say the state legislature should boost spending on assistance programs for the elderly by $1.6 million.

They made the pitch at a visit to Missoula Aging Services Monday. There, Bullock and Sands heard from people who’ve used the kinds of assistance they want to expand.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is opening a Vet Center this fall in Helena. Unlike larger VA medical clinics, Vet Centers only counsel returning combat veterans and military sexual trauma victims.

Young people who’ve experienced homelessness in Montana feel like they often fall through the cracks of programs designed to help kids fleeing abusive homes or needing a place to stay. Stock photo.
(PD)

Livingston is still trying to come to grips with a cluster of suicides that claimed four lives almost a month ago. Experts there say different people are dealing with the crisis in different ways.

Billings Clinic Launches Statewide Project For Mental Health

Jan 21, 2016
Jackie Yamanaka

Billings Clinic launched a new project in Montana yesterday that will provide peer support to health care providers across the state. This pilot project will start in the area of addictions and behavioral health for the Montana Department of Corrections.

Mental health services.
Flickr user Publik15 (CC-BY-SA)

Montana lawmakers are working on trying to improve mental health care treatment for young people. One idea they’re looking at would link how much counselors or mental health care providers get paid to how well their patients do.

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