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Montana Mental Health Services Guide

If you're looking for free or low-cost counseling, you might think your only options are counselors in private practice. However, publicly-funded mental health programs are available in every state. Each state's mental health system is designed to provide affordable care and often includes low-cost therapy or counseling services. 

 

While state-based programs are not for everyone, they're often a great place to start if you face geographic or financial barriers to getting therapy. Intake specialists at community mental health programs can help you learn whether you qualify for state-funded services. And if you don't qualify, they can often refer you to other low-cost programs that may meet your needs.


 

When Should You Go to a State Mental Health Program?

 

Few private mental health providers are able to immediately serve people in crisis, while most state mental health programs, including Montana's, have crisis response systems that help people get mental health care quickly in an emergency. This usually makes public mental health services the best option if you're having a mental health crisis and need help right away. The people who answer crisis lines can provide caring attention and support as they help you determine the best response to a crisis, whether it's inpatient treatment or an appointment with a counselor.

 

Publicly-funded outpatient programs in Montana are called mental health centers. In addition to affordable therapy, mental health centers provide specialized and intensive services that aren't available anywhere else or that are hard to find in private clinics, like case management, day treatment, and assertive community treatment. Consider going to a mental health center if you need intensive treatment, live in an area with limited mental health resources, or can't access mental health care in the private sector due to your diagnosis or financial situation.


Who Is Eligible for Public Mental Health Services in Montana?

 

Like most states' mental health systems, Montana's mental health system prioritizes people who are uninsured or underinsured and who have limited incomes. However, the Montana mental health department does not list any eligibility requirements on their official website or state that they limit services to people in these groups. Individual mental health centers don't list clinical eligibility criteria on their websites either.

 

According to their websites (see below for links), most Montana mental health centers accept both public and private insurance plans and offer a sliding scale or reduced fees to those who qualify. Most centers state that while no one is turned away for inability to pay, people who don't qualify for financial aid will need to pay the full fee for their services. In many cases, though, this fee is significantly less than what you'd pay for therapy from a private practitioner.

 

 

Since financial aid policies and accepted payment methods can differ from program to program, the best way to find out if you can get low-cost counseling at a publicly-funded provider in Montana is to call the program you're interested in and ask.


How Can You Find Out More About Local Programs in Montana?

 

One way you can find out more about local mental health resources in Montana is by calling 2-1-1 or visiting the search page on the Montana 2-1-1 site. To connect with a peer who can give you information about recovery and help you find local mental health resources, you can call the Montana Warm Line at 1-877-688-3377. If you're in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) will connect you to a local crisis center in Montana that can help you figure out what level of care you need and where you can go locally to get that care.

 

Public mental health services in Montana are managed on the state level by the Addictive and Mental Disorders Division (AMDD) within the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). For general information about the Montana mental health system, you can call the main AMDD number at (406) 444-3964. 

 

To find out what a specific mental health center offers, you can also just call that center. We've listed numbers for all Montana mental health centers below. We gathered this information from AMDD and from individual mental health center sites. We've also included listings for Native American mental health programs that we compiled using information from official tribal pages, the Indian Health Service (IHS) page, and the Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana website.

 

Since services and policies vary from center to center, we recommend calling the program you're interested in to confirm whether you're eligible for services, whether they offer the services you want, whether financial aid is available, and what payment options are accepted. 

 

 

Montana's Mental Health Clinics and Access Numbers

State-Licensed Montana Mental Health Centers

 

  • 3 Rivers Mental Health Solutions
    1. Main Number: (406) 830-3294
    2. Office Locations (Use Main Number for Both Locations):
      • 715 Kensington Ave, Suite 24B (Missoula)
      • 3972 Highway 93 North, Suite K (Stevensville)

 

  • A.W.A.R.E.:
    1. Main Number: (406) 563-8117 or (800) 481-8980
    2. Crisis Line: (800) 481-8980
    3. Adult Outpatient Office Locations:
      • Billings Office: (406) 656-0928
      • Butte Office: (406) 563-8117
      • Great Falls Office: (406) 563-8117
      • Helena Office: (406) 449-3120
      • Missoula Office: (406) 563-8117 or (406) 543-2202
      • Shared Resources Center (Anaconda): (406) 563-8117
      • Lawrence P Noonan Center for Excellence (Anaconda): (406) 563-7059

 

  • Center for Mental Health:
    1. Main Number: (406) 761-2100 or (888) 718-2100
    2. Crisis Line: (888) 718-2100
    3. Office Locations:
      • Main Office (Great Falls): (406) 761-2100
      • Boulder Office: (406) 443-7151
      • Chinook Office: (406) 265-9639
      • Choteau Office: (406) 466-5681
      • Conrad Office: (406) 278-3205
      • Cut Bank Office: (406) 873-5538
      • Havre Office: (406) 265-9639
      • Helena Office: (406) 443-7151
      • Shelby Office: (406) 434-8080
      • Townsend Office: (406) 443-7151
      • Whitehall Office: (406) 443-7151

 

  • Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center:
    1. Main Number: (406) 234-1687 or (406) 234-0234
    2. Crisis Line (Miles City): (406) 234-1688
    3. Crisis Line (Glendive): (406) 377-6074
    4. Office Locations:
      • Main Office (Miles City): (406) 234-1687
      • Baker Office: (406) 234-1687
      • Broadus Office: (406) 234-1687
      • Baker Office: (406) 234-1687
      • Broadus Office: (406) 234-1687
      • Circle Office: (406) 377-6075
      • Colstrip Office: (406) 346-7654
      • Culbertson Office: (406) 433-4635
      • Forsyth Office: (406) 346-7654
      • Glasgow Office: (406) 228-9349
      • Glendive Office: (406) 377-6075
      • Jordan Office: (406) 234-1687
      • Malta Office: (406) 228-9349
      • Plentywood Office: (406) 765-2550
      • Poplar Office: (406) 653-1872
      • Scobey Office: (406) 765-3946 or (406) 765-2550
      • Sidney Office: (406) 433-4635
      • Terry Office: (406) 234-1687
      • Wibaux Office: (406) 377-6075
      • Wolf Point Office: (406) 653-1872

 

  • L'esprit
    1. Main Number: (406) 222-7641
    2. Office Locations (Use Main Number for Both Locations):
      • Administrative Office (111 North 3rd Street, Livingston)
      • Main Clinical Office (120 South Main Street, Livingston)

 

 

  • South Central Montana Regional Mental Health Center:
    1. Main Number: (406) 252-5658 or (800) 266-7198
    2. After-Hours Crisis Line: (800) 266-7198
    3. Office Locations:
      • Main Office (Billings): (406) 252-5658
      • Community Crisis Center (Billings): (4060 259-8800
      • Big Timber Office: (406) 932-5924
      • Columbus Office: (406) 322-4514
      • Lewistown Office: (406) 538-7483
      • Red Lodge Office: (406) 446-2500
      • Roundup Office: (406) 323-1142
      • Hardin Office: (406) 665-8730

 

  • Sunburst Foundation Mental Health Center:
    1. Main Number: (406) 756-8721
    2. Crisis Line: (406) 756-2968
    3. Office Locations:
      • Main Office (Kalispell): (406) 756-8721
      • Eureka Office: (406) 297-3435
      • Libby Office: (406) 293-5284
      • Missoula Office: (406) 203-9948
      • Polson Office: (406) 883-4061
      • St. Ignatius Office: (406) 745-3681

 

  • We Care Behavioral Health:
    1. Main Number: (406) 546-2301
    2. Crisis Line (Missoula): (406) 370-2940
    3. Crisis Line (Great Falls): (406) 868-2152
    4. Office Locations:
      • Missoula Office: (406) 546-2301
      • Great Falls Office: (406) 241-7024

 

  • Western Montana Mental Health Center:
    1. Main Number: (406) 532-8400
    2. Crisis Line: (406) 752-6262 or (888) 820-0083
    3. Mental Health Office Locations:
      • Anaconda Mental Health Center (Anaconda): (406) 563-3413
      • Kalispell Adult Mental Health Center (Kalispell): (406) 257-1336
      • Glacier House Crisis Facility (Kalispell): (406) 751-8365
      • Stillwater Therapeutic Services (Kalispell): (406) 752-6100
      • Gallatin Mental Health Center (Bozeman): (406) 556-6500
      • Hope House Crisis Facility (Bozeman): (406) 585-1130
      • Libby Mental Health Center (Libby): (406) 293-8746
      • Missoula Adult Mental Health Services (Missoula): (406) 532-9700
      • Child Family Services Network (Missoula) (includes adult services): (406) 532-9770
      • Dakota Place Crisis Facility (Missoula): (406) 532-8949
      • Recovery Center Inpatient Facility (Missoula): (406) 532-9900
      • Polson Lake House (Polson): (406) 872-0474
      • Western Mental Health Center (Hamilton): (406) 532-9101
      • West House Crisis Facility (406) 532-8990
      • Sanders County Mental Health Center (Plains): (406) 826-5529
      • Sanders County Mental Health Center (Thompson Falls): (406) 532-9190
      • Silver Bow County Mental Health Center (Butte): (406) 497-9000

 

 

Native American Mental Health Resources

 

 

 

 

Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are another option for public mental health care in Montana. These federally-funded programs provide medical and mental health services to people in underserved communities. Their goal is to deliver high-quality coordinated care to people with complex needs and to link behavioral healthcare with primary medical care. Each FQHC accepts Medicaid and Medicare and offers sliding-scale fees to people without insurance. You can search for FQHCs using the online search toolon the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. 


How Does Montana's Public Mental Health System Work?

In the 1960s, Americans started thinking differently about how to treat mental health conditions. New laws required state and local governments to establish community mental health programs as alternatives to institutionalization for people with serious mental illness. Many states' public mental health programs trace their origins back to this period. 

 

Montana is no exception. Many of its mental health centers were built soon after John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Centers Act in 1963. For example, the Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center was founded in 1967 and the Western Montana Mental Health Center was founded in 1971.

 

Like many states, Montana has a state psychiatric hospital that traces its history back to the late 1800s. However, unlike many states, Montana has continued to disproportionately rely on its hospital for public mental health care well into the community mental health era. The state further reduced its already limited community-based mental health services with brutal budget cuts in 2017. It can even be difficult to find mental health care in the private sector in Montana—there aren't enough psychiatrists to meet demand. (There is only one psychiatrist in an entire 400-mile radius in Eastern Montana.) 

 

Fortunately, the state is making efforts to improve its system. State officials announced that Montana will be investing nearly $100 million back into its mental health system starting in 2020. That same year, the Western Montana Mental Health Center reopened the center in Libby it had to close in 2018 due to the 2017 budget cuts. A new behavioral health urgent care center was opened in Bozeman in 2020 and the state has been integrating behavioral healthcare at more of its primary care clinics. Montana has been implementing tele-mental health services for years and has invested even more in tele-medicine since the pandemic.

 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), only 47.5 percent of people in Montana who have mental health conditions get treatment for them. One reason for the care gap is that people aren't aware of their options for affordable mental health care, including the public mental health system. You can help change these statistics by reaching out and using your local mental health resources to get the care you need.

 



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