Priority Area 1: Behavioral Health
Poor mental well-being affects thousands of Montanans. One in ten Montana adults (nearly 84,000) report frequent mental distress with 14 or more days of poor mental or emotional health in the past month. Suicide, a mental health crisis continues to affect every Montana community. Suicide-related deaths in Montana are two times higher than the U.S.; from 2011 to 2015, an average of 240 suicide deaths occurred each year in Montana.
Additionally, nearly 64,000 Montana adults struggle with substance use disorder (SUD). Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in Montana, but use of illicit drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines continue to be a concern. Among Montana youth, 2.2% of high school students reported having used methamphetamines during their lifetime. Opioids are the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in Montana, accounting for 44% of all drug overdose deaths.
It is important that health care providers are educated on the delivery of care from a trauma-informed perspective, particularly in regards to historical trauma with the American Indian communities.