November 2022 Update from BHAM

Greetings! We hope you successfully got through the absolutely wonderful, completely smooth, nothing-at-all-stressful-about-it-for-parents-and-teachers holiday that is Halloween (on a Monday night no less!). Well, at least at this point it’s behind us for another year and we have rolled the calendar into November. While the busyness of the holidays will soon be upon us, we are reminded that even though things will get hectic, simply enjoying the companionship of family, friends and our community are what matters most.

And now onto the news …..

2022 Mignon Waterman Award Recipient Brenda Kneeland and Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center

The Mignon Waterman Award was created in 2017 to honor the life and legacy of Mignon Waterman. Mignon was one of the Montana Healthcare Foundation’s founding trustees, and throughout her career, she devoted herself to improving Montana’s behavioral health system. Brenda Kneeland, LCPC, LAC, is this year’s Mignon Waterman Award recipient in recognition of her leadership of the Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center (EMCMHC) and her innovative efforts to make behavioral health services widely available in Eastern Montana.

The Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana nominated Brenda for the award, and EMCMHC will accept the $10,000 award funds on her behalf. You can read more about the award and EMCMHC here: The Mignon Waterman Award – Montana Healthcare Foundation (

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award. The achievements highlighted have been the result of the EMCMHC Administrative Team and employees’ hard work and dedication in improving and delivering behavioral health services in Eastern Montana. These people are achieving what was once thought to be impossible, and I’m honored to be part of the EMCMHC team.”

Brenda Kneeland, EMCMHC CEO

BHAM and Friends of the Children Present a Children’s Legislative Forum

Sponsored by Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana and Friends of the Children Montana, the Children’s Legislative Forum is free and open to the public on November 30 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Delta Colonial Hotel in Helena, MT.

Here is just a partial list of topics we will cover and people whom are confirmed:

  • Current state of children’s behavioral health in Montana 
  • Legislative priorities for 2023 in children’s behavioral health
  • State presentation on the Governor’s Provider Rate Study
  • Learn how to effectively advocate for your community
  • Learn more about Friends of the Children in Montana
  • Confirmed panelists include Rep. Mary Caferro, Rep. Jennifer Carlson, Meghan Peel with DPHHS Children’s Mental Health Bureau, and Dennis Sulser, CEO of Youth Dynamics, Inc., Rep. Moffie Funk, former legislator Pat Noonan, Ben Davis and Stacy Houge, Friends of the Children-Montana, and Steph Goble, Mountain Home Montana

You can review the agenda and more about the event here:

Become a Montana Certified Prevention Specialist!

The Montana Prevention Certification Board (MPCB) seeks to prevent alcohol, tobacco, and other substance abuse disorders in children, young adults, and adults. We promote standards by providing a credentialing exam for prevention professionals in Montana to become Certified Prevention Specialists (CPS). To become certified, professionals must complete an accredited exam from the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC). IC&RC uses the latest research and evidence-based practices to deliver quality standards and exams. This
process is facilitated by MCPB and you can find all the information you need about the certification and application process here on our website. Your certification is valid for two years, and professionals can then apply for recertification.

Congratulations to Western Montana Mental Health Center and Eastern MontanaCommunity Mental Health Center for receiving new CCBHC planning Grants!

CCBHCs are facilities specifically designed to provide a community with an all-inclusive range of substance use and mental health disorder services, especially for individuals who have the most complex need. 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.

SAMSHA has been providing short-term planning and implementation grants to agencies throughout the US to help them prepare for their states to implement

You can view the grant awards here:

Advocacy Suggestions: 

Provider Rate Study

The Governor’s Rate Study was requested by DPHHS and funded by the 2021 Legislature. The results from the DPPHS/Legislative study were presented to the Children’s and Families Health and Human Services Interim Committee on August 26th . You can learn more about the rate study here:

Advocacy Suggestions: 

  • Advocate to your representatives and senators across the state for putting the recommended rate increases into the governor’s budget.
  • Advocate for both Republican and Democratic Representatives and Senators to support the rate increases as this was a legislatively funded study proposed by DPHHS under the Republican administration.

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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