American Indian and rural communities are hit especially hard in terms of suicide and reduced access to psychiatric providers.
MPA members are working to improve access to psychiatrists and suicide prevention interventions through:
Annual free conference (with statewide webcast) which provides suicide prevention tools
Psychiatrists are integrated with primary care in community health clinics (FQHCs) and hospitals proving that providing psychiatric care in primary care is cost effective and prevents suicide
Where a patient or a doctor ends up on a map no longer matters if a person has a smart phone (or computer) and cell/internet access - they can receive psychiatric care by an expert in the privacy of their own home
If your community has an unmet need, please reach an MPA member via our members page
MPA member are working to reduce the stigma of mental illness across Montana in patient and physician communities through the following efforts:
The MPA is an annual sponsor of the Montana NAMIWalks in the efforts to
reduce the stigma of psychiatric illness and encourage people suffering from mental illness to pursue treatment
Project ECHO (Billings Clinic)
MPA members are a part of this effort in rural communities across eastern Montana to more closely assess suicide risk and ensure follow up in primary care and specialty care
Addressing Physician 'Burnout'
'Burnout' in physician communities is another way of saying "depression" or other emotional difficulty. Physicians may be fearful of acknowledging having a mental illness or receiving treatment for mental illness due to fear of punishment by a licensing board. In December 2018, the MPA wrote a letter to the Montana Board of Medical Examiners and outlined language in licensing applications which is believed to be stigmatizing and out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Members of the MPA have been diligently working to grow, support and extend the psychiatric workforce through these initiatives:
Montana Psychiatry Conference
Annual psychiatry conference which is open to psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and physician assistants and other mental health professionals
Many MPA members are clinical
instructors for Montana's medical
students. By giving medical students
early, positive experiences in psychiatry, more and more students are choosing to specialize in psychiatry
The MPA hosted a special half-day training session on integrated behavioral health and is promoting the Collaborative Care model to MPA members and Montana communities to support primary care in extending the psychiatric workforce across our state
Montana Psychiatry Residency (Billings Clinic)
Research shows that doctors typically stay in the state where they did their specialty training. MPA members have strongly voiced their support of the psychiatry residency program in its direct efforts to add to the psychiatric workforce