All Nations Health Center offering online mental health services during pandemic

Posted at 12:41 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 14:41:09-04

All Nations Health center continues to offer up mental health services during the pandemic despite having to change its platform entirely to digital.

"All the way back in March our orginization closed on Friday evening expecting to come back to business as usual but that didnt happen," D'Shane Barnett All Nations Health Center's Executive Director said. "We serve the Native American population living in and around Missoula and we already have a suicide rate that’s higher than the general population and we can't afford to let that rate go any higher."

So All Nations officials looked at what they could do without offering in person services.

"Offering our services in an online format is super beneficial to all of our clients," All Nations Health Center Director of Missoula Native Connections said.

The online format has had some unexpected benefits, making the online move more effective.

"Anywhere that is safe and comfortable for them to take time and talk to a therapist our services are now available instead of having to have them come to the clinic. Therapy gets to take place in whatever setting is going to work best for them," Barnett added.

With the online format working so well All Nations Health Center staff see the online format being applicable in the future.

"I do think it will stick around and I think it will just be incorporated with our behavioral mental health services," Douglas said.

According to Douglas, it takes a resilient and flexible staff to make this kind of change work. She adds these services are offered to anyone who uses All Nations.

"So our behavioral health services is open to anybody and everybody so we meet with clients as young as five. Five to elders," Douglas said about the availability of the online resources.

Barnett and Douglas also say that one of the biggest obstacles is getting working wifi out to the people who need these services.

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