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Missoula

Who We Are

Western Montana Mental Health provides comprehensive health services and housing options to people of all ages facing mental health and substance use disorders. We meet you where you are, and we do not turn away.

We are here for those who need the kind of care that only we can provide, the way we provide it, where we provide it.

We are here to support every person’s potential to dream more, achieve more, and be more.

We are here to provide access to hope, meaningful life choices, and better outcomes.

At Western Montana Mental Health Center, we meet people where they are, and we do not turn away.

Mission & Vision

Our Mission

Our Mission: At WMMHC our mission is to build thriving communities through compassionate, whole-person, expert care.

Our Vision: Our vision is to serve as a premiere community provider, employer, and partner in comprehensive behavioral health services.

 

Our Values: Empathy. Integrity. Respect. Impact

About

About

Since 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. As a licensed community-based mental health center, we have fulfilled our unique role – 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 nearly 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 can now provide 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 service cost for financially eligible consumers. Services are billed to Insurance, Medicaid, Grants, and self.

History

History

Initially, the State Department of Institutions funded and administered five community mental health clinics. 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 team, outreach efforts throughout the Region were 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 Involvement

Federal Involvement

Montana's interest in developing comprehensive community mental health centers was sparked by the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health that Congress established under the Mental Health Study Act of 1955. Montana received funds to study its mental health needs and resources, and for five years, effort was devoted to the development of a plan that would provide adequate 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 that enabled the State to become a responsible partner with the federal government in establishing 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, Lincoln Counties, and the existing Missoula-based outpatient office. The original (1971) staff numbered 20, including 11 clinicians, seven clerical workers, a business manager, and a regional director.

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