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Mission, Vision, and ValuesOur Mission: To build thriving communities through compassionate, whole-person, expert care. Our Vision: We are the premiere community provider, employer and partner in comprehensive behavioral health services. Our Values: Empathy. Integrity. Respect. Growth
AboutSince we opened our doors in 1971, we have been driven by the unwavering goal of providing behavioral healthcare that meets the needs of the people we serve throughout Western Montana. We’ve stayed true to our commitment to providing person-centered and evidence-based care in community settings. We’ve remained dedicated to doing what is right, not what is easy or profitable. We have fulfilled our unique role – as a licensed community-based mental health center – to be Western Montana’s behavioral healthcare “safety net." We tirelessly advocate for the rights of individuals to have access to integrated services that help people overcome despair and choose hope. The only thing that has changed since our inception almost 50 years ago is how much we’ve grown. From service delivery provided in 5 counties by 20 staff, we now have almost 800 employees serving over 15,000 clients in 15 counties. We have a much more comprehensive offering of services, with 25 programs to meet the needs of people across the continuum of age and need. And, since 2016, we now have the capability of providing services using telemedicine technology, meaning better access for clients and more effective use of scarce resources. All clinical services are reviewed and licensed annually by the State of Montana. Special grants are available to offset the cost of services for consumers who are financially eligible. Services are billed to Insurance, Medicaid, Grants, and self.
GovernanceWestern Montana Mental Health Center operates as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, public purpose corporation (501)(c)(3). The Board of Directors meets monthly to assure effective governance and administration of all Center interests. The public is invited to attend meetings. Participating counties include: Flathead, Sanders, Lake, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, Granite, Powell, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Gallatin, Madison and Park.
HistoryOriginally, the State Department of Institutions funded and administered five community mental health clinics in the state. One of the clinics was located in Missoula and was housed in the basement of the Student Health Center at the University of Montana. This clinic, with a staff of six, was responsible for serving the counties of Western Montana. Services were almost exclusively outpatient and, due to the limited staff, outreach efforts throughout the Region were very minimal. The expectation was that clients would commute to Missoula where services would be provided within the clinic. There are old records suggesting that the clinic opened in 1942. Employees of this clinic were all staff members of the State of Montana and they answered directly to the superintendent of the Warm Springs State Hospital. There was considerable isolation of the staff as direct contact with the State Hospital was minimal.
Federal InvolvementMontana's interest in the development of comprehensive community mental health centers was sparked by the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health that was established by Congress under the Mental Health Study Act of 1955. Montana received funds to study its mental health needs and resources, and for a five-year period, effort was devoted towards the development of a plan which would provide effective services to the residents of Montana. With the passage of federal staffing and construction grant programs by Congress in 1963, the Montana State legislature passed complementary bills which enabled the State to become a responsible partner with the federal government in the establishment of regional mental health centers. Five mental health regions were established within the state and Boards, comprised of a county commissioner from each county within the Region, designated as the authority for governance of the community-based mental health programs. On July 15, 1969, the Western Montana Regional Community Mental Health Center Board submitted to the National Institute of Mental Health an application requesting federal staffing grant funds under the provision of Public Law 89-105. The program was approved on September 1, 1969. Western initiated services on January 1, 1971, utilizing local, state, and federal funds. Offices were opened in Ravalli, Lake, Sanders, Flathead and Lincoln Counties, in addition to the existing Missoula-based outpatient office. The original (1971) staff numbered 20 including: 11 clinicians; 7 clerical workers; a business manager, and regional director.
Billing and Financial ServicesFor information on treatment costs, insurance, resources if you are uninsured, and payment options, click here.
Meaningful Life Choices
Finding help may seem difficult, and we're here for you. High-quality, caring, compassionate, and confidential care is available to you.
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