Psychiatric Services Special Projects
Montana is at the epicenter of the US mental health crisis. Barriers to accessing mental health care include a shortage of mental health care providers and difficulty accessing care in very rural or remote settings. Given our severe challenges, Billings Clinic's Psychiatric Services team is working hard to introduce evidence-based, best practices across the spectrum of care.
The ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) model™ is a medical education and care management collaborative that empowers clinicians in remote settings to deliver better care to more people locally.
By putting local clinicians together with specialist teams at larger medical centers in weekly virtual clinics or teleECHO™ clinics, Project ECHO shares knowledge, expands treatment capacity and offers peer support to otherwise regionally isolated clinicians. Learn more about our teleECHO clinics.
Trauma Informed Care
A large proportion of our patients have been exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The CDC’s ACEs Study demonstrated that chronic exposure to different forms of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction represents a significant risk factor for developing mental health and medical problems along the lifespan.
Our staff is being trained in proven approaches to assess and treat patients who have been exposed to ACEs. The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) from the Child Trauma Academy and Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) from the Juvenile Resource Institute are two models currently being introduced to our practice.
Billings Clinic collaborates on trauma-informed care awareness and education as a member of Healthy By Design, Yellowstone County’s community health improvement coalition.
Go to www.healthybydesignyellowstone.org/trauma-informed-care to learn about:
- free training in trauma-informed care for community-based organizations
- Yellowstone County Mental Health Workgroup
- Mindfulness Classes for providers and caregivers
- ACE Study and Assessment.
The challenges of managing acute depression and suicidality in the adolescent population in Montana have led a collaborative team of psychiatric nurses and adolescent psychiatrists to trial an innovative non-pharmacological procedure called triple Chronotherapy.
This procedure employs sleep deprivation, sleep phase advancement, and bright light therapy, which is implemented around-the-clock by psychiatric nursing staff.
Combining triple chronotherapy with medications can sometimes speed up the benefits of medications by boosting mood, improving sleep, and reducing suicidal thoughts in a matter of days.
Billings Clinic is the first organization in the U.S. to make this intervention available to adolescents.
View this TED talk video: How a Light Box & a Dream Team Changed one Hopeless Teen's Life