"Few and Far Between" - Mental Health Resources in MT

Publication Date: Sep 20, 2022

An ongoing focus area for us at the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center is to support the mental health needs of those living in rural areas. In these rural areas, access to crucial, life-saving resources can be next to impossible to get. In states like Montana and the other five states in Region 8, national programs such as the newly-implemented 988 hotline definitely help. However, as this recent excerpt from Montana Public Radio puts it, "Mental health professionals say the state’s crisis system needs three components in order to prevent that kind of outcome: someone to call, someone to physically respond, and somewhere for people to go for treatment. Montana’s three crisis call centers address that first step. According to state data, 988 system workers are able to de-escalate two-thirds of callers. But sometimes someone to talk to on the phone isn’t enough, and advocates say the two remaining parts of Montana’s crisis system aren’t working."

The article goes on to share the experience of a Bozeman father who has a next-to-impossible time finding adequate mental health resources for his son who experiences manic episodes and has made multiple suicide attempts. Rural mental health is a very serious problem, and we are SO grateful for the progress that is being made to get important access to resources more spread out through rural areas. It takes time, resources, and outreach, but we are moving in the right direction. Great job, Montana, for bringing exposure to such an important topic facing rural communities!

Read the full article from Montana Public Radio by clicking here