Strengthening prevention, early diagnosis, and prompt access to effective treatment.
We build a strong continuum of care in Montana by addressing gaps in the state’s prevention and treatment system. We focus on building an effective, statewide approach to preventing mental illness, and we help communities respond more effectively to people in crisis, improve care for people with substance use disorders and mental illness, and implement effective programs like peer support and therapeutic courts.
Behavioral Health Crisis Diversion
All too often, when someone experiences a mental health crisis, they end up in the emergency room or jail – settings that are seldom equipped to care for someone who needs behavioral health care. Emergency departments in Montana reported that as many as 30% and in some cases up to 50% of people admitted to the emergency department have a behavioral health diagnosis. This system is expensive, strains emergency and law enforcement resources, and all too often fails to give people the care they need.
We are helping communities redesign their crisis systems. By providing timely access to behavioral health services, an effective crisis system improves outcomes and helps avoid unnecessary emergency department visits and justice system involvement.
We partnered with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Addictive and Mental Disorders Division and developed a series of learning sessions and materials that go over the components of an effective crisis system and help guide implementation. Visit the library of learning session recordings here.
We also support – through grants and technical assistance – communities to develop coalitions, complete system mapping to align behavioral health and criminal justice system resources, implement strategies to respond to a behavioral health crisis more effectively, and identify sustainable crisis funding.
We are currently offering grant funding to support communities interested in redesigning their crisis systems. Our support will help communities develop coalitions, complete system mapping to align behavioral health and criminal justice system resources, implement strategies to respond to behavioral health crises more effectively, and identify sustainable crisis funding sources. All project applications are by invitation only. For more information, please contact our office.
Program for Assertive Community Treatment
The Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) allows people with longstanding, severe, or disabling mental illness to live and function safely in the community.
PACT is a behavioral health service delivery model that facilitates community living, psychosocial rehabilitation, and recovery for people whose illnesses haven’t improved with traditional outpatient services. PACT teams made up of a multidisciplinary group of licensed staff and paraprofessionals are available anytime to go out into the community, meet, and provide care for people wherever they are.
This program helps people remain in their homes and communities rather than being hospitalized. It is particularly beneficial for people living in remote and rural communities who may not have easy access to mental health services.
In partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, we are supporting regions across the state to implement the new PACT program. For more information visit the DPHHS website.
We help Montana counties and Tribes implement mental illness and substance use disorder prevention programs. We focus on two programs with strong evidence for effectiveness: Communities that Care and the PAX Good Behavior Game.
Communities that Care helps communities select and implement prevention programs that are best suited for their specific needs. The PAX Good Behavior Game helps early grade students develop resilience, increase protective factors, and reduce substance use and delinquent behaviors later in life.
We are also working to strengthen the mental illness and substance use disorder prevention workforce by supporting developing a prevention workforce certificate at the University of Montana.
Health and Justice
People who are under community supervision, probation, and parole have complex needs to navigate in their communities. We help justice and health systems work together to provide team-based care to justice-involved individuals, improve health outcomes, and reduce recidivism. We also support creating and enhancing new drug courts, community supervision programs, and new partnerships between criminal justice and health systems.