Mental Health Grant Awarded to UM Team for Community Training

October 10, 2018

MISSOULA – The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded a three-year, $365,000 Mental Health Awareness Training grant to a University of Montana team.

Consisting of social work Assistant Professor Ashley Trautman and staff at the National Native Children’s Trauma Center, the UM group will use the funding to train campus and community members in Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid.

The evidence-based, eight-hour curricula teach participants how to support adults and adolescents who are experiencing mental health issues and crises, including problems related to substance abuse and suicide.

“Year after year, the suicide rate in Montana is among the highest in the nation,” Trautman said, “and the suicide rate in Missoula is no exception. We know that early identification and treatment of mental health issues can prevent more severe problems down the road.”

Following an introductory planning period, UM will offer two trainings per month in Missoula through fall 2021. Trainings are appropriate for non-clinical staff at public and private agencies, school staff, businesses, faith groups, social organizations and the general community. The UM team will partner with various departments and administrative units on campus, as well as key agencies in the wider Missoula community, to train students, staff and the general public and ensure people referred for treatment receive the help they need.

“Just as we learn CPR in order to be able to support someone having a physical health emergency, all of us should learn the basics of how to support someone having a mental health problem or emergency,” said Maegan Rides At The Door, NNCTC director. “Knowing what to do when someone is struggling could make the difference between life and death.”

For more information about the trainings or to request one, call Trautman at 406-243-6935 or email

For more information about MHFA and YMFHA curriculum, visit


Contact: Mark Lane, associate director, UM National Native Children’s Trauma Center, 406-243-5378,