Mental Health


MSU Extension, in collaboration with the MSU Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery link and One Montana link, is delivering evidence-based educational mental health programming.

Youth Aware of Mental Health

Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) is a universal intervention (delivered to all youth of a group/class) mental health promotion program that aims to raise mental health awareness about risk and protective factors associated with suicide, including knowledge about depression and anxiety, and to enhance the skills and emotional resiliency needed to deal with stress and crisis. The format of the YAM intervention empowers youth to think, verbalize, and discuss important mental health issues, such as suicide, in a context that is meaningful to them.

MSU Extension, in collaboration with the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery, (montana.edu/cmhrr), Bill Bryan of One Montana, Stone Child College, and Little Big Horn College received a USDA grant to evaluate delivery of YAM by County Extension Agents in frontier and rural setting schools in Montana. A Montana Mental Health Trust Foundation grant is extending this work. 

Seventeen Extension Agents are certified to teach YAM in rural schools across the state. The 5-hour interactive curriculum is integrated into the school schedule usually through a 9th grade health enhancement class. YAM will be taught this academic year in the following locations:

  • Fairfield
  • Shelby
  • Absarokee
  • Ronan
  • Chester
  • Crow Reservation
  • Rocky Boy Reservation
  • This site will be updated as schools in other communities are identified.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based, 8-hour course, developed in Australia that teaches participants mental health literacy, an understanding of mental illness, and how to assist if someone is experiencing a mental health crisis. Four MSU Extension Agents are certified to teach the classes. If you would like more information or to schedule a class, contact Sandy Bailey, Family & Human Development Specialist, at baileys@montana.edu or 406-994-6745. For more information on Mental Health First Aid go to: mentalhealthfirstaid.org


This project is supported through funding from USDA/NIFA Grant #2016-07213 and the Montana Mental Health Trust Fund.