CSAA Congress June 23, 2018

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Central Service Area Authority Board Meeting will be held January 26, 2018 via video conference.

The meeting agenda includes:

  • Review of previous meeting's minutes
  • Public comment
  • Committees meet and report to Board
  • Monthly report updates for the AMDD, LAC, and Providers
  • New business

For Directions to access the meeting remotely click here.

For more information visit us at http://centralsaamontana.org or contact us as info@centralsaamontana.org

Categories : Monthly Meetings
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We encourage your active participation in our Legislative process.  Below are some resources to make sure your voice is heard.

How to Contact Your Montana Legislators

NOTE:  In Montana our Senators and Representatives don’t have staff.  In most instances you’ll be communicating directly with them.  

Send a message to a http://leg.mt.gov/css/sessions/63rd/legwebmessage.asp.  This is an online form as the State doesn’t publish email addresses.  You may be able to find your Representative’s email through other channels.  But this form works although you must submit for each person you want to communicate with.  It’s not hard but it’s a little clunky.

Call and leave a message with the Legislative Help Desk at 406-444-4800.  Messages will be delivered to committees, even as they are meeting.

NAMI Montana’s site has a good overview of what’s happening.  http://www.namimt.org/legislature.html

NAMI Smarts Advocacy training.  NAMI offers a free 90-minute training in how to advocate for mental health services.  As with all NAMI programs, this is offered free of charge.  To arrange to have this training for your group please email alicia@aliciasmith.com.  We will do our best to accommodate your schedule.  This training has been offered at Conferences, Board meetings, Drop in Centers, Churches; any group that is interested in learning how to share their story as a means of advocating.  Our stories are powerful.  When we learn how to write our stories so others can begin to understand the extent of the need for help in the mental health systems.  The goal is to add many more voices being heard in our communities, and in local, Regional, State and National forums.  Recovery is possible and we can speak out about the value of these programs.

NAMI National also offers a fabulous resource at http://capwiz.com/nami/home.  Enter your zip code or state and look up your representatives.

Categories : Resources
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If you are planning to tell you story here is a 7 Step Handout to help you prepare your story.

Handout:  Seven Steps to Telling Your Story

Categories : Resources
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Winter Driving Conditions

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Since winter weather is upon us, I'd like to remind you that the CSAA Resources page has a link to the winter weather on Montana's Mountain passes.  This service is provided by the Montana Department of Transportation .  So, if you're uncertain about driving in winter weather, check out this resource  before hitting the road.  It can be found alphabetically under the Videos/Photos heading.

Montana State Highway Cameras

If you need to cut & paste the link here it is:  http://rwis.mdt.mt.gov/scanweb/SWFrame.asp?Pageid=CamSummary&Units=English&Groupid=150000&Siteid=&Senid=&Wxid=&Mapid=&DisplayClass=Java&SenType=All&HEndDate=&Zoneid=&Mode=&Sprayerid=&Dvid=&CD=3%2F9%2F2007+8%3A40%3A03+AM

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An Example of Collaboration in Action; a quote from Gary Mihelish

"Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a Crisis Intervention Team Work Group.  Law enforcement officers from Bozeman and Helena participated.  Ten years ago it was felt by many that Bozeman had the worst mental illness treatment system in Montana.  The conversation yesterday demonstrated that services in Bozeman have improved dramatically.

  1. Emergency detentions decreased 46% from FY2011 to FY2012.  With 0 emergency detentions to the Montana State Hospital.
  2. Crisis evaluations by the Crisis Response Team (CRT) decreased 34% from FY2011 to FY2012.
  3. CRT evaluations at the detention center decreased 36% from FY2011to FY2012
  4. CRT evaluations at Bozeman deaconess Hospital decreased 38% from FY2009 to FY2012.
  5. CRT evaluations at GMHC increased 72% from FY2009 to FY2012.
  6. The majority of CRT evaluations now occur at GMHC not Bozeman Deaconess.
  7. Police dropped off 53 people directly at Hope House 14% increase from FY2011 to FY2012.
  8. Recidivism rate of 10% through jail diversion program compared to 90% in the non-program population.


After listening to this discussion, Sheriff Leo Dutton had these comments.  In spite of everything that has been done in Helena through the LAC in the last 9 months, there has not been any reduction in commitments from Lewis & Clark County to the Montana State Hospital.   He feels that we need at least 6 secure beds in Helena  Not much has improved from the point of view of law enforcement, the first responders.

So, in spite of all of the hard work that LAC has done in the last 9 months, we still have a great deal to do!  Gary Mihelish"

The value of our working together is we can learn each others mistakes and successes. 

In addition to CIT in our state you might enjoy reading the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Site Visit Report:  Gallatin County

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News worthy articles…

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Welcome to the CSAA blog.  To keep your inbox from getting so much email we are going to collect a series of articles and send them out on a periodic basis through the CSAA site's blog. 

We've also added a new tab to the CSAA website (www.centralsaamontana.org) called Subscriptions.  Go to this page and sign up for a number of periodicals that we will no longer be forwarding to your inbox.  There will be exceptions but we are doing our best to minimize the amount of email  the CSAA sends out. 

Here is the first set of articles, including a series of steps that have been taken to support our Veterans who have, or need, a service dog.

Housing project for hard-core homeless pays off.

A study of homeless adults housed by L.A. County's Project 50 suggests providing permanent housing to vulnerable populations saves local governments money. – www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0608-homeless-savings-20120608,0,5536032.story   

Mental Health First Aid; how to incorporate in our communities


Service Dogs & Veteransa favorite cause of mine.  Matt Kuntz, Executive Director or NAMI Montana www.namimt.org has taken the charge as well.

Here is the petition that got us started:  www.change.org/petitions/secretary-of-the-army-john-mchugh-change-the-army-s-restrictive-policy-on-service-dogs

Below is the press we're getting.  



USA Today has a great article on our Service Dog fight.  I think we’re well on our way to making life a little better for soldiers with severe PTSD and TBI.  ~Matt Kuntz – http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-06-07/army-ptsd-ADA-service-dogs/55450078/1.

If you're willing, please sign the petition and/or call your Congressmen and Representatives.

Until we have another batch of news to share,



Categories : Articles
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For you information:  Heart and Soul Of Change Workshop 

Good morning!  Attached is the Heart and Soul of Change Workshop NAMI has assisted us in sponsoring. again, I really appreciate the support and monies towards this important recovery oriented venture. We have mailed this brochure to AMDD, CMHB, WMMHC, Center 4 MH, the NASW list, and the BOV. Please pass on to others that you think may be interested.

Heart and Soul of Change Registration

Thanks again!

Jodi M. Daly, Ph.D.
Deputy Director

81 W. Park St.
Butte, MT  59701


Ph: 406.491.1211
Fax: 406.782.4020

Categories : Workshops
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Dear CSAA Board Members, 

Our Annual Congress is this Friday, April 27th at the TRW Building 3rd Floor Conference Room (we usually meet on the 2nd floor, so be sure to make it to the top floor!)

A lot of details have been handled in an effort to provide a good program and to have qualified nominees for the open positions on the Board, but…  


1.  Fill up your car.  If you're driving, please invite consumers, family members and/or providers from your area.  This is critical as we are going to be needing feedback from each area as to what is working, what's not working and what's needed.  The Congress is THE PLACE for these people to be heard.  I know there are enough Consumers in each area and having the opportunity to see what we do and let us know what they need is critical to our success.   

2.  Be welcoming.  A couple of our members have been recruited to act as Greeters and to "police" the hallways as we must keep them free of people "hanging out" in consideration of the workers on that floor.  Please take it upon yourself to welcome any one you don't know and make them feel "at home."  Check to see if they have a name tag, coffee or any questions.

3.  Come prepared and focused.  We've known that we need to identify our 2013 Legislative Priorities and this Congress will allow us to not only benefit from your feedback, but from our Guests as well.  I have created a handout that gives the Legislative Priorities from 3 other Mental Health Groups to get the conversation started.  So give some thought to what YOUR COMMUNITY needs so we can start the discussion to determine what the CSAA feels are the priorities in our area.  

4.  Enjoy!  I hate to be missing the meeting but know that I will be there in spirit.  Relax, enjoy our guests and help in any way to make this a wonderful experience for the Board and our guests.  






Alicia Smith

President, Central Service Area Authority (CSAA)
Representative, NAMI National Consumer Council
Consumer Representative, NAMI Montana Board Member

Categories : Annual Congress
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Hi Gang, 

Hope everyone wintered well and is anxious to make this year's event the biggest and best in our history of providing help for the veterans of North Central Montana.

The first meeting is set for 1:00 PM this coming Friday, April 20th, in the McFadden Multipurpose Room in the basement at the Center For Mental Health. Due to scheduling problems, the meetings this year will move around "date wise and day wise," so pay close attention to the schedule printed on the first meeting agenda so you will be able to mark your calendars accurately. 

We at VETS4VETS are very grateful to all those who have been with us for any or all of the incredible events we've done to this date. We look forward to seeing all the smiling faces this next Friday.

Thank you,


Rodger, Billy, and Wally of VETS4VETS

Categories : Vets4Vets
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