Rural Mental Health Grant

Hi, my name is Dr. Anna Elliott I am an assistant professor in the counseling program here at Montana State University in Bozeman. And hi, I’m Dr. Jayne Downey I’m an associate professor in the Department of Education here in the college, and I also direct the Center for Research on Rural Education. So we’re here today to talk about the grant that we were recently awarded from the Department of Education. So so the way that this grant came about is as a counseling program as a program that is preparing graduate students to go out into the community and out into the state to become mental health clinicians in schools and mental health agencies in private practice we were aware that there is a mental health crisis in our state because of how large our state is as well as other barriers and adversities that exist. There just is there aren’t enough mental health professionals out in the entire state. And so we were beginning to look for ways to increase access both to our program as a training institute and also to figure out how to get our interns out, further into the state. You know we looked at the data from both of our programs at U of M and from here over the last three years we’ve, both of our programs have graduated a really nice number of new counselors for Montana a lot of them have stayed here, but very few of them like 10 percent took up professional practice in rural settings and we knew that we this type of opportunity would allow us to give them access to rural places and rural schools and figure out if that kind of work and that kind of context was a really good fit for them. And that’s why I’m really excited about this grant and the potential that it holds to to really sort of move the needle in, in that regard for our rural schools and communities. Dr. Rebecca Koltz, who was a Counseling faculty and is now the Health and Human Development Department chair is also a CO PI I on this grant and Dr. Kirsten Murray at University of Montana counseling program there. Yeah, and you know things like this just wouldn’t be possible without the support of our departments and also our college it It’s a it’s a tremendous thing to have that kind of institutional support to take on these kind of innovative efforts and and to know that you’re supported by the college. And the Center for Research on Rural Education is also really an important piece of this as we look to deliver these services but also to study what makes them work really well. and I think that’s an important piece of being at the land-grant University is that we can provide the support and the services but we can also conduct the research that will let us know what’s working and why.

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