Community Action Team Creates Positive Change in Butte’s Health | Butte. Elevated.


The Community Action Team (CAT) announced today that youth suicide attempts in our community have decreased from 17 to 12 percent over the past three years.

Jim O’Neill, CAT Chair, said: “This effort is being spearheaded by the Community Action Team, and we are making steady progress. This dramatic decrease is a direct result of our community pulling together.”

The CAT was started in 2014 in response to a rash of youth suicides in the Butte community.  Since that time, the team has established a “Healthy and Resilient” vision for our community that includes all of our neighbors, young and old alike.

The CAT consists of local providers (medical and mental health), school officials, the County Health Department, local businesses (including Northwestern Energy and Town Pump Inc.), law enforcement, clergy, and many more.  The collaboration has achieved many accomplishments since its inception, including:

  • Coordination with the SOARS (Support, Outreach and Access for the Resiliency of Students) grant and the Butte School District. 527 adults have been trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA);
  • YMHFA trainings have resulted in 475 referrals to mental health services;
  • Of the 527 adults who have been trained, 95 percent said that they strongly agree in their ability to identify youth with behavioral, emotional or mental health needs;
  • 50 to 75 juniors and seniors are being trained in YMHFA each year;
  • Four additional YMHFA trainers have been added to Butte’s team;
  • Funding has been secured to have two people trained in Adult Mental Health First Aid;
  • 1200 students per year are being trained in the Signs of Suicide Program;
  • A six-month radio campaign ad addressing the stigma of mental health was conducted;
  • Through Elevate Montana, 15 community ACEs presenters were trained and can present to any community member and/or organization to teach adverse childhood experiences;
  • An electronic consented referral system — CONNECT Butte — is being “rolled out”;
  • Multi-Tiered System of Support has been developed for Butte School District #1;
  • Students receiving Tier 2 supports have increased from 1.5 percent to 21 percent;
  • The “Let’s Talk” App has been designed and developed for youth;
  • Distribution of more than 2,000 gunlocks in our community;
  • Workshops have been conducted on building a resilient, trauma-informed community with expert Stacy York.