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One cottage remains open through the Intermountain Residential Program



Helena, Montana – Leaders decided to extend the duration of Intermountain’s residential mental health program in Helena until the end of this month, following an announcement in September that the program would be temporarily closed. As of right now, the organization states that they intend to carry out the initiative on a smaller scale in the future.

“The Intermountain Residential program is currently maintaining one cottage,” they said. “We hope to continue to build from there. The future of this program will depend on our ability to hire staff and open more cottages. The Intermountain Staff and Board of Directors remain committed to Intermountain Residential and all of our programs, which serve hundreds of clients in Helena and across Montana.”

Children ages four to thirteen who are enrolled in the residential program receive long-term behavioral health services. Due to a staffing shortfall, Intermountain announced in September that they would have to temporarily close the program. As a result, the families of the sixteen children residing at the facility started searching for other options.

For almost eleven months, Rachel Templeton’s child has attended Intermountain. Templeton and other parents have expressed their desire to delay a resolution in public.

“When we were all in the same crisis together of facing a 30-day closure, we all found each other and we became a pretty tight group,” she said. “We advocated with the staff hard to keep the program running and to let our kids finish treatment.”

For kids like hers, Templeton claims there were just not many options available for this kind of care. She claims that now that she is more certain her child will be permitted to stay, she has given up searching for other places. Although she is relieved that they are no longer in a “emergency situation,” she notes that these families are still going through a trying time.

“We’re really relieved, we’re really grateful that our kids are able to stay there,” she said. “I mean, I’m not going to sugarcoat it: There are some families that had to leave. There was a lot of harm done to staff, to families, to kids. But I think now because of the amazing staff at Intermountain Residential – and those people are incredible – I have a lot of faith and a lot of hope that this program will be okay.”

Behavioral health professionals are being hired by the Intermountain administration, according to the residential program. Templeton expressed her hope that people might think about applying for jobs there.

“For people who care about helping kids. I think this would be an amazing place to work,” she said. “The people who are there are really wonderful, fun, caring. They’re some of the best people, honestly, that I have ever met in my life, the people who work at Intermountain Residential. So, yeah, I hope that people looking for jobs, people in the community Intermountain corporate, and the board will just continue to make this program thrive for another 100 years. That’s what we need: We need it around for another 100 years.”


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