MTPR

Mental Illness

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.

Montana Law Enforcement Academy Administrator Glen stinar talks about the coursework for new cops, during a tour of the acadmemy campus in Helena, MT July 11, 2017.
Corin Cates-Carney

In the digital age of communication, the new generation of people becoming police officers need more training in how to communicate with the public. That’s according to leaders at Montana’s Law Enforcement Academy. They say having a conversation as a cop is different than what many new recruits are used to.

The second study the Law and Justice Interim Committee will oversee will deal with solitary confinement.
Flickr user, BohemianDolls (cc-by-2.0)

In a close vote this morning, lawmakers rejected a bill aiming to reform how state prisons put people with mental illnesses in solitary confinement. The bill introduced by Roger Webb, a Billings Republican, would have outlawed the use of solitary confinement for prisoners with mental illness, except in a few situations.

Montana Lawmakers Work On Suicide Prevention Legislation

Jan 30, 2017
Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell testifies on a bill at the Montana Legislature.
Freddy Monares/UM Community

During his State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. Steve Bullock said that he "cannot tolerate that Montana leads the nation in youth suicide."

"I am haunted by this statistic," Bullock said.

For nearly 40 years, Ray Kuntz has been involved in commercial trucking. He built a national company operating from Montana and worked for driver safety and major reductions in exhaust pollution. As a citizen, he’s stayed engaged on social issues ranging from reducing roadside fatalities to fighting mental illness.

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