According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state. So much so that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes on the rise.
In Montana, the numbers are sobering. While the national increase in suicides was 30 percent between 1999 and 2016, that number is 38 percent in Montana. The state suffered nearly 26 suicides for every 100,000 Montanans in 2016, which is nearly twice the national average.
To compound the situation, the Health Resources and Services Administration recently reported that Montana has less than a quarter of the mental healthcare providers needed to serve its nearly 1 million residents.
In an effort to bring hope to the situation, we have launched The Big Blue Sky Initiative to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, depression and suicide, and to provide resources to help combat the crisis in your own homes and communities.
In addition to The Big Blue Sky Initiative, we’ve been busy supporting – and will continue to support – Montanans and organizations doing similar work throughout the state. There is hope and there is help. And together, we can make a difference.
Read this story to learn more about our work addressing Montana’s suicide crisis: Filling the Behavioral Health Vacuum in a Vast Land of Need