New emergency mental health crisis center planned for Missoula

A group of government agencies and nonprofit mental health partners in Missoula are working to open what will be only the second dedicated short-term emergency mental health facility in Montana.

The Western Montana Mental Health Center plans to overhaul what used to be the River House day treatment center into an ambulatory crisis receiving center. It should be open by early next year.

Levi Anderson

Photo by Mary Windecker

“The day treatment service that was previously operated out of River House was actually suspended as a response to COVID,” explained Levi Anderson, the center’s CEO. “We’ve taken the last year, working with stakeholders on how to best meet the needs of the community, to identify what is the biggest gap of mental health care in Missoula.”

Anderson said the result is the plans for the new facility. They’re already fairly far along on remodeling the River House space. The new center will follow the “crisis now” standard of care, which has been identified as a national best practice by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He said Missoula has

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