NADC in partnership Sunburst Mental Health and Cedar Creek Integrated Health’s project population of focus includes Native American individuals, families, and healthcare practitioners experiencing increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression and trauma associated with mass stay-at-home and quarantine orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These conditions, especially in conjunction with higher incidents of domestic violence are primary contributing factors of suicide if left unaddressed. Addressing and mitigating these conditions are the purpose of the project.
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Montana continue to increase. Present numbers of confirmed cases are 332 with 6 deaths in the previous three-weeks, which is of concern with a state that is remote and very sparsely populated. Within the initial three-week shelter at home period, the Montana Suicide Call line received 700 calls, averaging 39 per day. Immediate actions initiated within the state left outpatient mental health and substance use providers ill-equipped to handle shelter in place directives as agencies lacked telemedicine/health capabilities. Montana witnessed a 70% decrease in treatment access within the first seven (7) days of declared emergency.
Billings is the largest population center within a 500-mile radius and houses one of the largest hospital networks in the state with Billings Clinic, Riverstone Health and St. Vincent Healthcare. Surrounding communities often seek care through Billings area providers due to the rural expanses of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. Immediate actions initiated within the state left outpatient mental health and substance use providers ill-equipped to handle shelter in place directives as agencies lacked telemedicine/health capabilities. Montana witnessed a 70% decrease in treatment access within the first seven (7) days of declared emergency.
Emergency COVID-19 funding would permit NADC to shift the disproportionate impacts from lacking telemedicine/health access across our service area. Such an access point would decrease emergency room impacts from mental health crises and emergencies due to shelter in place directives. The overarching goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated, and collaborative system of care designed to meet various health care needs associated with the recent impacts of COVID-19 for Native American individuals, families, and healthcare providers seeking care in the Billings area. The project team will coordinate care and provide supportive services through a regional coordination plan designed to ensure good outcomes for clients served during, and beyond, the project period.