There has been an increasing need to help family health physicians treat their patients and help screen for mental health concerns.

A picture of a human brain taken by a positron emission tomography scanner, also called PET scan, is seen on a screen. (Credit: Fred Tanneau/AFP via Getty Images)

Montana has the third highest suicide rate in the country and mental health providers are more than busy.

Some of the mental health crisis falls into the treatment of general family physicians and this grant will help train them for more psychiatric illnesses.

The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded the Montana Family Medicine Residency a workforce grant of $500,000 per year for five years and the residency will be based at RiverStone Health.

It will use the federal grant to enhance training in mental health and substance use disorders for resident physicians and is a partnership between RiverStone Health, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare.

The award is an acknowledgement of MFMR’s success in training physicians who stay in Montana and the state’s growing need for mental healthcare combined with a severe health professional shortage. 

The grant is one of only 24 awarded nationally by HRSA through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and focuses on preparing family practice residents to treat mental health and substance use disorders which are statistically on the rise.