Mental Health and Well-Being

You are here

Community Impact Area:  Mental Health and Well-Being

Ensuring every individual realizes his or her own potential and can contribute to the community.  Build resilient and trauma-informed communities.


Our 4 Community Impact Areas are designed to deliver positive lasting change by bringing together a network of organizations, businesses and individuals to share resources and engage in results-driven Collective Impact Work.  

Community Goals/Outcomes:  (GGUW and our Board of Directors began revising our Strategic Plan Spring 2017, with the goal of completing in February 2018.  Website pages will be updated as we go through this process.  We apologize for any missing information at this time.)

  • Increase community outreach, education and awareness about mental health and mental illness (includes stress reduction, resilience, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), suicide prevention, and social emotional learning)

Our strategies to make positive impact include funding partner programs including mentoring programs, parenting education and support programs, family mediation, senior support, 24/7 crisis line, crisis intervention programs, drug and alcohol abuse programs, counseling services and children's advocacy services.  We fascilitate and support community outreach, education and awareness about mental health, mental well-being and mental illness.  GGUW kidsLINK Afterschool Program curriculum focuses on positive social emotional development for participants.  We provide annual professional development opportunities including:  Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), "How To De-Escalate High Intensity Situations"; Nutrition Education Training; "The Importance of Child Attachment" Training by SW Montana School Services; "Renew! How to Combat Compassion Fatigue in Giving Professions"; Afterschool & Beyond Annual Conference; and The Resilience Conference.  Member of Elevate Montana movement dedicated to elevating the well-being and futures of our children through awareness & actions based on ACEs and trauma-informed approaches to build resilience in children and families.  Hold annual The Resilience Project conference/learning workshops.   kidsLINK Afterschool staff are also trained in best practices in positive youth development by Education Northwest consultants.  Free mental health consultations are provided to kidsLINK Afterschool Programs in partnership with Montana Project LAUNCH Initiative (MT-PLI). 

In partnership with Bozeman Health, Bozeman Health Foundation, Community Health Partners, Gallatin City-County Health Department, Help Center Western, LAC, MT Healthcare Foundation, Montana Mental Health Center / Gallatin Mental Health Center, and Montana State University Counseling and Psychological Services develop and launch "Elevating Mental Health", a two-part conference and series of work groups that address our community challenges in best meeting the behavioral health needs. The purpose of this process is to gather, inform, and actively engage a diverse group of individuals and organizations in a manner that will immediately begin to enhance and expand behavioral health services and mental health wellness programs for communities in SW Montana.  We also launched The Resilience Conference in 2016.  ECCC provided multiple community screenings of Paper Tigers documentary and subsequant Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) training and education. 

  • Ensure effective crisis intervention
  • Enhance coordination of services and improve access
  • Advance knowledge and proficiency of resilience-building and trauma-informed care of community care providers through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), Trauma-Informed Care, self-care, and other training and education

Our strategies to make positive impact include funding partner programs, providing professional training to partner organizations and the community on topics including Collective Impact, Trauma-Informed Care, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), prevention of secondary trauma/empathy fatigue/self-care, and facilitated leadership.  Montana Project LAUNCH Initiative (MT-PLI), is a collaboration of local, state, and federal partners working to improve early childhood services.  In Gallatin and Park counties, Project LAUNCH is building systems to provide parents and caregivers access to high-quality prevention and wellness services and resources, with a focus on social-emotional development and early childhood mental health. This means building connections and partnerships that empower medical clinics, child care centers, schools and parents to work together to prevent, identify and address social and emotional concerns early in a child's life.

GGUW kidsLINK Afterschool Program is exploring an innovative practice in partnership with Montana Project LAUNCH.   Through this unique opportunity, kidsLINK staff at select sites will work with a mental health consultant who will provide program level consultation with the goal of ensuring staff gain the confidence and competence to engage with students who may struggle with social, emotional, or behavioral challenges, which will improve outcomes for all students.  The consultant does not work with individual children, but rather focuses on the environment, the structure, and various interpersonal relationships to gauge the effectiveness of the program in successfully addressing the needs of the group; coaching and other professional development opportunities are then provided to staff to further support their growth.  Mental health consultation at the program level adds a unique perspective to exploring why people do what they do, in an effort to support the goals of safe, effective, and beneficial learning.

  • Combat abuse and human trafficking and support survivors

Our strategies to make positive impact include funding partner programs, staying informed and involved through United Way Worldwides's new Center to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery, sponsoring and supporting human trafficking eradication efforts by organizations like Haven and the Heart Initiative and community outreach and education to raise awareness.


  • 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."

We believe there is no problem that we can't solve together.  Join us to make change. 

Donate today to Greater Gallatin United Way.