CSAA Congress 2022

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Categories : Annual Congress
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Starting on July 16, 2022, the current ten-digit Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) will change over to 988. Much more than just a switch to an easier-to-remember number, it represents a holistic revision of the State’s suicide prevention and mental health crisis management system.

Montana 988…

  • provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across Montana.
  • All calls to the Montana Lifeline are answered by trained crisis workers at three regional call centers around the state.
  • All Montana crisis centers are accredited, provide training for counselors, and disseminate best practices.
  • Local counselors at crisis centers are familiar with community mental health resources that are part of the Montana 211 network.
  • Montana’s Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline is an effective, life-saving safety net for those experiencing a mental health crisis, especially those with nowhere else to turn.

Montana 988 is part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Calls made to 988 in Montana are routed to one of our three Lifeline call centers: Voices of Hope in Great Falls, The Help Center in Bozeman, and Western Montana Mental Health in Missoula. Together, they provide coverage to every county in Montana. Currently, Montana leads the nation in call handling rate with less than ten percent of calls made in Montana being routed to another call center in the network backup system.

See full document by clicking here.

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September 24th, 2021 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Mission of the Central Service Area Authority (CSAA)
The Central Service Area Authority (CSAA) was established by State statute to collaborate with the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and Local Advisory Councils (LACs) in the planning, implementation and evaluation of a consumer-driven, recovery-oriented and culturally competent public mental health care system. Our mission is to assure that consumers, their families, and other interested community stakeholders have a strong voice in defining, developing, managing and monitoring public mental health care delivery in Montana, with a focus on the Central region of the state. The primary objective is to ensure that consumer’s needs and preferences are at the center of the services provided.

Zoom link

10:00 am – Introductions

10:15 am – Special Guest: Senator Bob Keenan,
Senator Keenan is the original Sponsor for the bill 53-21-1006, creating the Service Area Authority. “What is The Service Area Authority, and how are the SAA’s designed to be the conduit between the County needs and State Implementation and funding regarding Behavioral Health Services.

– Public Comment

11:30 – Special Guest – Mary Windecker,
Is the executive director of Behavioral Health Alliance of Montana, an advocacy group representing addiction, mental health and tribal behavioral health organizations. She has 30 years of experience in strategic planning, business development, advocacy, patient satisfaction, marketing and outreach, primarily in nonprofit health care in Montana.

– Celebration of Mini Grant Awards

– Election of Officers

– Adjourn

Categories : Annual Congress
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Please click here to be directed to the page with the

COVID-19 Resources for Individuals, Families, and Providers

If you are not take to the page you may copy this url and paste it into your browser:

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For more information on the 2019-20 Children & Families Interim Committee information go to 

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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  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.

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  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  Enter your zip code or state and look up your representatives.

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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

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