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All Families, All Faiths

Faith and community organizations play an essential role in strengthening Montana’s children and families, while also empowering communities to be good stewards of their health and wellness.

The Office of Faith and Community Based Services is a conduit between the Department of Public Health and Human Services and faith and community organizations across Montana creating a two-way flow of information, resources and programs to serve the identified health and wellness needs in each community most effectively.

Through effective collaborations, the Office of Faith and Community Based Services can expand resources and strategies for effective prevention and intervention to improve health outcomes for all Montanans.

Creating a Healthier Life: a Holistic Approach

A series of eight overlapping circles depicts SAMHSA's Eight Dimensions of Wellness, with text that reads: emotional, environmental, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual, and environmental.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Wellness Initiative envisions a future in which people with mental or substance use problems pursue health, happiness, recovery, and a full and satisfying life in the community.

Each individual’s path will be a bit different. Every aspect of wellness can affect a person’s life.

Working toward all of them in one way or another is a great goal, because wellness relates directly to the quality of a person’s life.

This guide offers a broad approach for things we can do—at our own pace, in our own time, and within our own abilities—that can help us feel better and live longer.

Download SAMHSA's Eight Dimensions of Wellness.

The Role of Faith Communities in Holistic Health
  1. Emotional: Being able to identify your emotions, and healthy ways to express and manage feelings is critical to the health and wellness of relationships with others.  Learning to deal with stress, disappointment, anger and frustration in healthy ways are critical to emotional health. Many faith and community organizations provide or host support groups such as grief and loss or Alcoholics Anonymous, training to understand childhood trauma, and individual support to those who reach out for help.

  2. Financial: For many, it is challenging to think about retirement planning and savings when they are living paycheck to paycheck. Many faith organizations support programs such as financial planning, teaching children about tithing and giving to others, and help those in their communities who are under financial stressors who need supports such as rental assistance, food, gas for their car, or other basic needs.

  3. Social: While some people are more introverted than others, everyone needs meaningful relationships with family, friends and their community. Parenting classes, support groups, couples counseling, service to the elderly who may be isolated, and youth groups all provide safe and social environments to nurture relationships.

  4. Spiritual: Humans need a set of values and beliefs in which to frame their life.  Spiritual wellness involves developing an understanding of one’s beliefs and values and how those impact how they view their place in this world.  Spiritual wellness can be nurtured and shaped through affiliation with a formal religion.

  5. Occupational: Many Americans wrestle with the balance of work and home life. And when this is out of balance, there are ripple effects across other areas of health. Faith communities teach the importance of finding time to focus on the other aspects of health including rest and spirituality, helping keep this important balance.

  6. Physical: There are many components to physical health including diet and exercise. Faith and community organizations across Montana do a lot to promote the physical health of their communities including hosting support groups for people in recovery, providing immunization clinics in their facilities, providing food to those in need, and acknowledging days of action such as heart health month and diabetes prevention.

  7. Intellectual: Humans need to feel mentally challenged and be given opportunities to expand their skills. Faith and community organizations often provide these opportunities in the form of quilting groups, cooking classes, retreats or camps with youth where new skills are taught. Providing opportunities for multi-generations to come together and teach one another skills such as making art or food can be a wonderful opportunity.

  8. Environmental: Where people live, both their community and the physical structure, impact one’s health.  Homelessness, clean water, and access to childcare can all impact a person’s health. Many faith and community organizations lead efforts to provide shelter and housing for the homeless, while other faith communities have opened their doors to provide safe childcare options for the community. Many faith communities prioritize activities such as recycling and awareness activities to highlight the importance of humans living on a healthy Earth.

Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (Partnership Center)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Partnership Center leads the Department's efforts to build and support partnerships with faith-based and community organizations in order to better serve individuals, families and communities in need. 

Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Faith-based and community initiatives (FBCI) is a model for how effective partnerships can be created between federal programs and faith-based and community organizations. FBCI supports several programs in mental health services, substance abuse prevention, and addiction treatment at the national, state, and local levels.

  • Faith-based grant programs and initiatives
  • The role of SAMHSA
  • Funding opportunities
  • Resources

Visit the pages below for Montana resources and ways you and your community can take action. 

Building Healthy Families

Building healthy families is pivotal to thriving communities, and faith and community organizations play a key role.

  Mental Health
and Suicide Prevention

One in four individuals who seek help for mental health turn to faith leaders BEFORE they seek help from a clinical profe


Foster and
Adoptive Family Supports

Children have the right to grow and develop in safe and permanent family environments. When families and communities collaborate, the possibility for success is increased. The safety of children in our communities is dependent upon multi-level stewardship of human and financial resources.

Substance Abuse
Prevention and Treatment

Substance use negatively impacts families and communities. Faith and community organizations play a critical role in preventing substance use in youth and connecting people to treatment.


Human Trafficking
in Montana

Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Montana is not immune, and in 2021 the Montana Department of Justice reported 68 cases.

Older Montanans

Together faith and community organizations can support older adults and help them stay healthy and connected to their communities while living independently.