Coffee Chat Idea Session

  • Barb Reiter has reached out to schools to offer help, possibly with meal delivery etc.  Maybe give schools Parenting materials to hand out with meals.
  • Work with your teens and youth coalitions to send out social media positive messaging

Alcohol Awareness Month

Drug Facts Week

National Prevention Week is also May 10th-16th

  • Mary, Toole County is working with parents at food bank – networking community to replenish foodbank, taking Parenting MT and resiliency information.
  • Sue in Hill County – working on National Drug facts to put in newspaper (puzzles etc.).

Delivered meals to community, gave out left over Red Ribbon week bags.

Trying to find crayons, coloring books, hand washing ideas, PAX tools etc. to take with meal delivery.

Youth group working to start up chats, so they can stay involved and connected

  • Erin – helping schools is a good way to build relationship, get your foot in door
  • Andrea Schurg- In Dillion, the schools are putting together “Family Isolation Kits” and asked her to participate. She’ll add puzzles, decks of cards, craft materials along with prevention materials. 
  • Downloaded and print articles from Parenting MT, attach to meals one day a week.
  • Amanda, Facebook page “the cupboard” –or in other particular feeds we can answer community questions by pulling specific info from Parenting MT.
  • Social media – put the stuff ou.t
  • Little free libraries are good spots to share things – rack cards for and little prizes.
  • Teachers using “remind app” maybe they can promote our stuff through that app.
  • Kathleen said, schools are happier with card stock right now, too much copied material.  How can we make our material stand out???? Look like quality, colored card stock.
  • People visiting liquor stores – would they distribute information on healthy coping info? Listing how to stay healthy during stress?  Alcohol link to depression info? Alcohol/drugs suppress the immune system.
  • Food delivering – can we reach out to advocate for Montana to NOT deliver alcohol/marijuana?  
  • Free phone lines – can we get those out on social media etc.  Suicide Hotline, runaway, mental health, stay sober. Montana warm line – mental health lines-Families need support now.
  • Encourage families to go for a hike or sledding or something outside. 
  • Work with coalitions/ groups to meet via video or telephone, stay connected to move forward this support in the community. 
  • Set up a support group for parents – via chat, Facebook, can we reach out?  Get some structure in place? Send out modules from ParentingMontana on routines. 
  • Plan around internet/connectivity issues to reach ALL families.
  • Schools are mailing things to students; can we get in on that? How fun for kids to get mail.
  • Could we get a coloring contest going to have kids send notes/ pictures to people in nursing homes?  Could parents post on your coalition Facebook page?
  • Color bags to send takeout food in – have kids color with messaging/facts.
  • Before going out and doing things, check with your county to see what health parameters are right now – ever changing day to day.  Please be mindful if you have been in any situation where you have had possibility of exposure (Seattle CTC training, kids coming home from school, travel) please stay home for 2 weeks 🙂  There’s a lot we can do from phone and computer.
  • Schedule out social media posts for whatever “National” Day it is– Let’s laugh day!! Knock-knock jokes?
  • We are working on PNA – we will get info out to you as we get it
  • DUI Task Force people may be very busy with other duties, please be mindful, possibly step in to help or postpone meetings.
  • Virtual – run “out of the darkness” can they post pictures of their run or hike or virtual run times, share a screenshot of a calendar with your activity have others join in.
  • Indoor/outdoor scavenger hunts, lots of lists on Pinterest.
  • Think about your community and culture, how can we reach out.
  • Check in buddy system – mentoring, call and check in.  Can we encourage our community to do this and encourage healthy coping.
  • Youth one on one walk dogs at shelter??  Other ideas like this?
  • Virtual meeting platforms – Go to meeting free for 30 days, zoom,  
  • Ryan shared the link- 
  • “Talk, they hear you!” campaign -Having parents talk to their kids about alcohol use. 
  • Homemade Ninja warrior course for your kids at home.
  • Put out a challenge on Facebook- community page (Butte 411) or coalition, use a # that we all can use, Show your pet.


Communities that Care: A Montana Update

Great things are happening across the State of Montana with the Communities that Care (CTC) Coalitions. We currently have 12 sites that are using or plan on using the CTC framework to initiate community-wide youth-development and prevention planning efforts. The CTC sites include the following communities: Bozeman, Browning, Butte, Deer Lodge, Dillon, Eureka, Glasgow, Libby, Madison County, Poplar, Rocky Boy, and Troy. 

Most of these communities are in Phase 1 & 2 with Bozeman leading the way and has moved into Phase 3. This means they are organizing community members, meeting with key leaders in the community and recruiting potential board members, developing vision statements and organizing into work teams to start the work.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Public Health and Safety Division has generously set aside mini-grants for each CTC site up to $5,000 to be used to organize their coalitions.

The goal of the State of Montana is to expand into other counties across the state. If you are interested in using the CTC framework contact Maria Valandra – Communities that Care State Coach at [email protected]. For more information about Communities that Care go to

“CONNECT”ing in Lincoln County

As part of the PFS grant, we are supporting and recruiting for CONNECT. CONNECT is a free referral system for service providers in Montana. A provider would be anyone that offers a necessary support service to families, children, or adults. The network allows information or referrals to be shared between service providers. This information DOES NOT include patient files. The goal of CONNECT is to reduce common barriers for external referrals and increase client uptake services. It reduces duplication of services and has an easily trackable history and documentation of patient contact and progress.

In Lincoln County, we had a kickoff event on February 28th. There were 20 people that showed up; we also had a joint virtual presentation 2 other days, where approximately 8 people from Lincoln and Sanders Counties attended online. Attendees were given a history of CONNECT, a success story of Lincoln County, and a demonstration on the system. People were also able to suggest others for us to contact; these are businesses, agencies, and people they provide referrals to or receive referrals from.

The Cardiac Unit at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center (CPMC) stated they were not receiving all of the referrals from Kalispell Regional Hospital (KRH). Lincoln County residents are commonly sent to KRH for heart attacks and surgeries. Since joining CONNECT, the hospital stated they are receiving over 85% referral rate. Referrals were getting lost in being sent to wrong number, faxed to number no longer in service, and just a loss of referral somewhere in the system. Now, they are sent to “gate keepers” who reply back to KRH that they received the referral, the patient has/had been contacted, and that they are receiving services. (Cardiac and diabetes programs are required by grants that they receive to take part in CONNECT.)

Agencies are also able to do some customizing of their referral to meet the needs of their organization. They are able to put in their profile if they accept certain insurances, ages, and what services they do provide. An organization is also able to print or look at reports such as referral delays to an agency, number of referrals, and referral outcomes. 

Like Parenting Montana, CONNECT can be a great tool to break the ice with agencies you may not have thought of or are having a hard time breaking through to. In Lincoln County, I have spoken to realtors, the mortuary, drug court, Adult Protective Services, day care centers, and service organizations to name a few. I am planning on having 2 booths at the upcoming health fair; Parenting Montana and CONNECT. Schools, medical providers, social service agencies, law enforcement, churches, and nursing homes are also good agencies to approach. 

Even if your grant does not have CONNECT in your strategies, you can still be a great ambassador for CONNECT! Attend a training to familiarize yourself, go online and educate yourself, and let your county CONNECT leader some organizations to contact! This is a great resource and tool for Montana! It links the community to services!

For more information:

[email protected]     for someone from the State of Montana team. 

Native Hope Being Implemented on Fort Peck Reservation

Native HOPE is an evidence-based practice for Native American and American Indian populations, and has been implemented on the Fort Peck Reservation in the towns of Brockton, Frazer, Poplar and Wolf Point over the past several years. One of the tenets of the program is continuing what the students learn out into the community, to help hold each other accountable and be good examples to one another, and to help empower the adults who take care of them to be more involved. 

In December there was a community-wide Native HOPE event that involved the youth and their parents, caregivers and those in a parenting role. To put the skills they learned to use, Ernie Bighorn, PS for BG and PFS for Fort Peck Tribal Health, along with the PFS Roosevelt Prevention Specialist Ashley Toavs, helped purchase supplies for a youth basketball league for the students. This league is completely run by the parents, caregivers and those in a parenting role. They plan the schedule, set up teams, coaches and practices, and plan trips to nearby towns for the kids to participate in tournaments. The Prevention Specialists role was to purchase jerseys, basketballs, travel expenditures and team entrance fees for the out-of-town tournaments. At the first practice, there were 100 youth who showed up to be involved in this league!!! Nike has even reached out to see if they can provide shoes for a portion of the youth  in the league! This is a prime example of prevention specialists coordinating in several ways: 

  1. Collaboration for a project between both Block and PFS grants, as well as between county and reservation grants.
  2. Leveraging multiple strategies together to create successful outcomes.

Gina Tracy joins AMDD as PFS Grant Manager

My name is Gina Tracy and I gratefully accepted the Partnership for Success Grant Manager position in the Addictive and Mental Disorders Division (AMDD) within the Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS). I previously worked as a Prevention Specialist, and before that, I worked with a few nonprofit organizations and in the Quality Improvement Department at the Montana State Hospital. Overall, I have been working in the public sector for nearly ten years. I earned my Master of Public Administration degree from the U of M in 2017 because I care about working for the public interest rather than working towards a profit margin in the private sector. I have experience with grant management, public budgeting, strategic planning, and meeting regulations mandated from state and federal funding sources, which will be helpful in my new position as the PFS Grant Manager. I am also passionate about prevention, because I understand the many issues related to substance use/misuse. I know, first hand, how important a Prevention Specialist’s work is in the community, and I am honored to be a supportive role in the prevention process.

 I am from Anaconda, MT but live in Helena, and I am part of a beautifully blended family. My husband and I have four children ranging from 9 years old, to 15 years old.  Both my husband’s and my ancestors migrated to Montana from Ireland slightly before and after the Easter Rising, so we share some common preferences. We mostly support the children in their extra curricular activities, but we also enjoy outdoor activities, treasure hunting, gold panning, and simply spending quality time together. We are always up for an adventure, whether it be looking for lost Montana gold, or hiking new terrain to catch mountain lake trout.

Be the Change 406 Youth Coalition Members Get An Up Close Experience of National Government

Dillon Middle School 8th graders, Brooklyn Williams and Olivia Kailey, members of the Be the Change 406 Youth Coalition, traveled to Washington D.C. last week with adult coalition members; Kim Martinell, Katherine Buckley-Patton and Andrea Schurg to attend CADCA’s 30th Annual Leadership Forum. While there, Brooklyn and Olivia had the opportunity to attend workshops: Empowering …

Montanan’s Attend CADCA National Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.

CADCA Overview-Sue Brurud-Hill/Blaine County Prevention Specialist As a prevention specialist just finishing my first year on the PFS grant, I learned so much at the CADCA conference in DC. All of the classes were very educational, well organized and engaging. I was able to meet adults and youth engaged in prevention work throughout the country, …