Rural and American Indian Communities


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:

Montana Conference on Suicide Prevention

     - annual free conference (with statewide           webcast) which provides suicide

       prevention tools

Integrated Behavioral Health

     - 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 



​      - 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 or 

Reducing Stigma and preventing suicide


 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

Collaborative Care Initiative

     - 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