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Online Program Aims To Help Rural Montanans Access Mental Healthcare

Online Program Aims To Help Rural Montanans Access Mental Healthcare

Limited access to therapists, cost and stigma around mental health can make it difficult for rural Montanans to get the care they need. Now, Bozeman researchers are testing and adapting a new online program that’s been shown to side-step those barriers and reduce depression and anxiety for adults.

Bill Bryan says people living in rural parts of the state face extra hurdles to getting mental health support compared to their urban counterparts. Bryan is the co-founder of the non-profit organization One Montana, which seeks to bridge gaps between urban and rural Montana.

“If you live in Circle, Montana and you want to see a therapist and you have to go to Billings, you know, that’s a long drive — four hours or plus, five hours or so — and then you’re supposed to go back in a month,” Bryan said.

On top of paying for gas and perhaps taking unpaid time off from work is the cost of seeing a therapist, which is generally over $100 an hour without insurance coverage.

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