Behavioral Health and Mental Well-Being

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Behavioral Health and Mental Well-Being

Our community is healthier and more resilient due to a shift to a new collective mindset and understanding of behavioral health / mental well-being and how to improve whole-person health.


Our 4 Community Impact Areas are designed to deliver positive lasting change by forging innovative partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, cultivating the best resources and inspiring action to create the change we all want to see in Gallatin, Madison, Meagher and Park Counties.

PDF of GGUW Strategic Plan for Behavioral Health & Mental Well-Being - 2018-2023  

Impact Outcomes for Behavioral Health & Mental Well-Being

  • Normalization and understanding of behavioral/mental health as a component of whole-person health.
  • People learn to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health and illness.
  • People know how to get help and are willing to reach out.
  • Mental healthcare is readily available.
  • People contribute to others’ well-being.  

Impact Strategies for Behavioral Health & Mental Well-Being

  • Fund direct service programs through the Community Investment Fund, including CASA/Guardian Ad Litem, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Mediation Center, Haven, Help Center/2-1-1, Women in Action Big Sky, etc.
  • Implement education, community outreach and marketing campaigns to create the new "normal" for our community mindset and reduce stigma
  • Resource the new "normal" including community and workplace trainings (ACEs, Trauma-Informed Care, Stress Reduction), communications, tools, and programs to support the culture shift
  • Actively lead and/or participate in coalitions addressing behavioral health including MT Project Launch, Local Advisory Council (LAC) for Mental Health, Elevating Behavioral Health Workgroups, Elevate Montana, HEART Initiative, Gallatin County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, United Way's Center for Human Trafficking and Slavery, Gallatin County Mental Health Local Advisory Council (LAC), etc.
  • Provide professional development and learning opportunities for caregivers including ACEs Awareness, Trauma-Informed Care, The Resilience Project learning events, stress reduction, burnout prevention...
  • Deliver programs such as kidsLINK Afterschool Program, which fosters behavioral health and social emotional learning for over 1,700 children every day 
  • Hold, participate and/or fund community events including Project Homeless Connect, Week of the Young Child, Annual Child Care Fair, Bike Rodeos, Community Connect, etc.
  • Advocate and inform elected officials about the current state of behavioral health and the needs in our area; encourage elected officials to work together to solve MT’s behavioral health challenges; provide specific recommendations/policy objectives; and, offer ourselves and other local entities, such as the LAC, as a resource for elected officials during their terms in office.
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  • Promote and encourage volunteerism through and engage employees through workplace campaigns and Day of Caring Events (Studies shows volunteering improves physical and mental health). 


  • MT has consistently ranked in the top 5 states for suicide rates per capita for over 40 years.  MT rates are double the national average.  It is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 13 to 45 years.
  • MT ranks 2nd for alcohol related deaths.
  • 1 in 4 people will experience mental illness during their lifetime.
  • MT ranks 47th out of 50 states for Health.  Indicators include low-birth weight babies; children without health insurance; child and teen deaths, and; teens who abuse drugs or alcohol.
  • 93% of persons with a substance abuse disorder are not receiving treatment.
  • All 56 counties in Montana designated behavioral health as a top priority.
  • MT ranks 14th for Family and Community.  Indicators include children in single parent families; children in families where head of household lacks high school diploma, and; children living in high-poverty areas, and teen births.
  • MT ranks 47th for children living apart from their parents (in foster care).  130% increase in foster care placements and 60% are due to drug and alcohol abuse/addiction.
  • MT ranks 33rd for Long Term Care and 34th for Health based on the World Health Organization's definition of health, "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."