In the Community

More Than $450,000 in Grants Awarded to Support Mental Health Access and Awareness in Montana

January 17, 2023

The Montana Community Foundation, Inc. (MCF) announced it has awarded $459,000 in grants to support mental health access and awareness statewide.

MCF recently granted $29,000 from the Montana Mental Health Access Fund, which was established at MCF in 2021 to leverage technology and other resources to increase access to mental health services to every corner of Montana. Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

  • $8,000 to Youth Dynamics to support the hiring of additional case managers and increase access to their services in Shelby and Wolf Point.
  • $10,000 to Awareness Network to assist Lewis and Clark County Suicide Prevention Coalition in establishing a therapy component of the Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors of Lewis and Clark area (LOSS LCA) program, which provides support and resources to those who’ve lost a loved one to suicide and is the first program of its kind in Montana.
  • $5,000 to Mountain Home Montana, Inc. to expand their maternal and child mental health outreach and therapeutic services within Missoula and surrounding rural and tribal communities through their Community Center.
  • $6,000 to Florence Crittenton Home and Services to implement a peer support group called the "Indigenous Mother's Alliance” which is designed to increase social and cultural support for the Native American parents served by Florence Crittenton and is intended to promote the importance of culture while navigating life and its challenges as an Indigenous woman, mother, and community member.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding that will allow us to provide culturally appropriate programming to our Indigenous families,” said Carrie Krepps, Executive Director at Florence Crittenton.

“The recognition of how our cultures affect our life experiences, our trauma, and our parenting is critically important to helping families build a solid foundation for the future, as well as a sense of community. We are grateful for the committee’s recognition of this, and commitment to serving all Montanans.”

Support from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation enabled MCF to provide additional support to statewide projects and initiatives that increase mental health access and build awareness of mental health needs in Montana.

This includes a $330,000 grant to support the Telehealth Crisis Initiative, a project of Frontier Psychiatry to create a statewide telehealth crisis response network covering all hospital emergency rooms in Montana.

According to the Montana Hospital Association, fifty individuals seek urgent psychiatric care in Montana emergency rooms every day. Unfortunately, very few hospitals, regardless of size, can provide the appropriate level of care.

As a result, Montanans in crisis are either “boarded” in the emergency room for unreasonably long periods of time (hours to days) or transported to psychiatric facilities hundreds of miles away from home.

The Telehealth Crisis Initiative will provide access to full psychiatric telehealth assessments within 2 hours of the request, 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Additionally, the clinical team staffing the network will ensure that individuals have access to follow-up care via telehealth within 7 days of discharge back to the community.

MCF also awarded $100,000 to the Northern Ag Network in support of “Beyond the Weather”, an advertising campaign that launched in 2021 to break the stigma surrounding mental health in rural Montana and normalize discussions surrounding mental health conversations and accessing mental health services. More information about the campaign is available at here.

“At the Montana Community Foundation, we want to cultivate generosity that has a permanent and positive impact on Montana communities,” said Mary Rutherford, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Increased access to critical services is a key piece of addressing the mental health crisis in Montana. Grantmaking to local organizations and initiatives that are working to increase access across our state is a way philanthropy can play a role and have an impact. We are grateful to our donors and partners, like Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, who help make it possible.”

For more information about MCF’s mental health access program, contact Elisa Fiaschetti, program director, at or (406) 441-4953.

Contribute to the Montana Mental Health Access Fund here.