May 2022 Update from BHAM

Keeping with a new BHAM tradition that is as old as the hills – or as old as this newsletter, not sure which – I shall kick off this month’s update with a slight commentary on the weather. I am happy to report that we have safely made it into the month of May in Montana!! This is cause for much celebration as it means that winter is behind us (maybe), and we can look forward to Farmers’ Markets (unless it snows again), golfing (possibly in whiteout conditions), and riding bicycles (with snow goggles, just in case). Aahhh … the good life!

Since it’s not snowing at the moment, why don’t you catch up on our latest news here …

May is Mental Health Month

Governor Gianforte kicked it off at Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center by signing a proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Awareness month in Montana. The full script of the proclamation reads:

WHEREAS, mental illness affects our friends, family members, and neighbors, with nearly 20% of U.S. adults living with a mental illness before the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the challenges of the past two years have left many Montanans feeling more alone and isolated than ever; and

WHEREAS, on average, less than half of those affected by mental illness seek treatment due to stigma and a lack of awareness surrounding the issue, especially young adults that struggle with mental illness; and

WHEREAS, individuals living with mental illnesses are not alone in their battle, nor should they feel alone, and should seek support from their family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Gianforte, Governor of the State of Montana, do hereby proclaim May 2022 MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH in Montana to destigmatize mental illness and support Montanans living with mental illness today.


Governor Gianforte’s Mental Health Month Proclamation

Children’s and Families Health and Human Services Interim Committee Meeting:

May 12-13, 2022, in Helena Capitol Room 132 or by Zoom. You can sign up to provide public comment here or to provide written comment on any of the agenda items:

There is a lot on the agenda including information about out-of-state placement of children, moving dementia patients out of the Montana State Hospital, Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs) and much, much more.

Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs):

Through a generous grant provided by the Murdock Charitable Trust, the Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana has taken the lead on vetting the CCBHC model with providers and state stakeholders. The National Council on Mental Wellbeing have led two different groups through policy discussions about the model so that both providers and state stakeholders can ask questions and fully understand the impact CCBHCs would have on the behavioral health system in Montana if DPHHS chose to request permission from Centers for Medicare/Medicaid to bring the model to Montana. You can learn more about the CCBHC model here:

Provider Rate Study:

DPHHS is working with Guidehouse to complete the study for behavioral health providers funded by the 2021 Legislature. It is a comprehensive survey that looks at actual costs of providing care as well as reimbursement for individual programs. Guidehouse hopes to have completed their work on behavioral health by summer 2022 so that DPHHS can make recommendations to the 2023 Legislature. Here is more information on the DPHHS rate study website: Provider Rate Study (


Learn more about new scholarships available to students interested in pursuing social work in Montana. Save the flyer below, or click on it to learn more about Carroll College’s MSW opportunities.

Please reach out to me if there is anything you need. When we work together, we can solve all the problems out there!

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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