Jim Driscoll – Recovery Centers of Montana
What is your name and the name of the organization you represent?
Recovery Centers of Montana
Where can we find your website?
Where in Montana are you located?
Recovery Centers of Montana has residential 3.5 treatment centers in Clinton, Columbia Falls and Martin City (Hungry Horse area), Montana.
Tell us a bit about your organization, and the sort of work it does?
Recovery Centers of Montana was established in August of 2020 and initially provided residential treatment 3.5 services to 15 adult males in Columbia Falls. Considerable growth has occurred to meet the crisis level of opioid and other substance abuse in Montana. Currently Recovery Centers of Montana has a women’s 3.5 residential treatment center licensed for 35 beds, a men’s 3.5 facility in Clinton, MT licensed for 55 beds, and our original men’s 3.5 treatment facility in Columbia Falls now licensed for 50 beds. Evidence based services that are trauma informed and strength-based are provided by qualified addiction counselors. Peer support services, care management and mental health services complement the core programming in addition to physical – recreational activities and life skills.
In 2023 the Montana Legislature is in session. What things are you optimistic about? How about pessimistic? Overall, is there anything in particular you would like to see come out of this session?
The State conducted a comprehensive rate study of behavioral health care. Implementation of increases as recommended in this study would be a major victory for Montana residents as we are all touched in some way by behavioral health concerns. It is in all of our best interests to care for individuals in the least restrictive environments, in communities that can provide the support for positive treatment of behavioral health concerns
Tell us about some of your accomplishments, and what you are most proud of as an organization?
Recovery Centers of Montana has many accomplishments. The most recent is the addition of our Clinton location providing 3.5 residential addictions treatment for men. The facility is located in an amazing setting with over 150 acres. The natural beauty of the surroundings with excellence in staffing and programming provides increased opportunities for individuals to step onto the path of recovery.
Respecting the privacy of any individual(s), can you relay to us a story (or two or three!) about a time or situation that had a personal, positive impact on you in the course of doing your job?
It has been an amazing and humbling experience being able to help our most at risk and in need population. As I travel the state for meetings and events or even just running errands at home in Kalispell, I often have a woman or a man in a restaurant or supermarket or the car wash approach me to thank me and our staff for helping them save their lives. They’ve gotten a decent job, an apartment and have their children back in their lives.
Disregarding any sort of official surveys or statistics, what does your gut tell you about the state of behavioral health in the state of Montana? How good are we at helping our neighbors and communities
Behavioral health in Montana has been historically underfunded. Leadership is needed to improve access, develop increased workforce and provide funding for a continuum of services. Currently the system of behavioral health in Montana is fractured, underfunded and siloed. We can do better!
Thinking of the population you serve, and the areas of behavioral health you are most involved with, if you could snap your fingers to make one change, what would it be?
The ability to extend the time that individuals are in treatment. Longer stays produce positive outcomes. Increased provider rates to maintain solvency of existing agencies and extension of bed days to 60 for 3.5 residential treatment from the current authorization of 21 days, then 5 days.
What advice would you give to any young people considering heading into the career field of behavioral health?
Follow your heart, do what counts, there is nothing that matters as much as helping others.
What do you love the most about working in this industry?
Hearing the success stories, seeing individuals in the community who are maintaining a sober and drug-free lifestyle and contributing to their communities. Seeing the light bulb come on in treatment.
If you had to give a shout out to another BHAM organization for doing exceptional work, what org would it be? Why?
Yellowstone Girls and Boys Ranch for working with youth to improve health, happiness and positive outcomes as adults.
Any other shout-outs or kudos for Montana’s behavioral health heroes?
Shari Riggs with Stepping Stones in Missoula, for birthing and growing a successful agency that provides services to individuals struggling with addiction.