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Parents upset following Intermountain closure announcement

Residential Program provides mental health services to kids ages 4-13
Posted at 2:29 PM, Sep 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-02 11:41:45-04

HELENA — Intermountain announced Friday that their Residential Program, which provides residential behavioral health services to children ages 4-13, will be temporarily closing.

The closure displaces 16 children who are receiving care at the Helena facility.

Families of patients contacted MTN News, frustrated about the situation, saying they were told they had 30 days to pick up their children. Those families also expressed concerns about the difficulty in finding pediatric mental health programs that can provide the level of care their children need right now.

“The thing that is more disturbing than anything is that, you know, we have these kids who are making this progress and now they're it's like it's resetting them. They're going to have to start all over in the process again,” parent Connie MacDonald told MTN reporter Jonathon Ambarian. “There's kids that are probably been there longer than my son. And so it's going to it's it's starting all over again.”

Parents told MTN they were very happy with the care their children were receiving at the Residential Program.

Intermountain said in a news release: “At this time, our primary concern is for the 16 children who will be discharged from our program. Their well-being is our priority.”

The organization cites staffing shortages as the reason for the closure, noting they would not have enough staff to cover shifts beginning September 22.

The closure will also impact 55 staff members at Intermountain’s residential campus in Helena.

“Intermountain is working on a plan to provide transition opportunities to affected staff to offer them other opportunities in our other programs while we rebuild,” said Intermountain in their statement.

Intermountain leadership says they plan to reopen the program but first, they will restructure and find a “more sustainable approach.”

It is unclear at this time what a timeline for reopening the residential program may be.

The closure comes after 55 employees submitted a letter to the Intermountain Board of Directors expressing no confidence in the board and the interim CEO, which was first reported by the Helena Independent Record.

Intermountain was founded in 1909. They provide mental health services to children, adults and families in the Helena, Billings and Bozeman areas.

We will update you if we get more information.