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What is the Montana Behavioral Initiative?

The term initiative refers to proactive efforts by family, community, and school leaders to identify and prioritize concerns, teach acceptable alternatives to inappropriate behaviors and create a culture of respect in the academic setting. With this in mind, Montana Behavioral Initiative (MBI) is a content-based staff development philosophy and process designed to meet students’ diverse and complex social, emotional, and academic needs. 

Important Upcoming Dates in March

Classroom Problem-Solving in Helena

March 3, 2017
Parent-Teacher Home Visit Training in Bozeman
March 21, 2017
Parent-Teacher Home Visit Training in Billings
March 22, 2017
Parent-Teacher Home Visit Training in Wolf Point
March 23, 2017

Save the Date

MBI Summer Instititue at Montana State University - Bozeman

June 19 - 23, 2017

Researched-Based MBI/PBIS Big Articles
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MBI-Related Articles State and National
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MBI Events

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help an adolescent who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches: risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns; information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and substance use; and a 5-step action plan to help someone developing a mental health concern or in crisis. In the 2015-2016 school year, Youth Mental Health First Aid attendees referred 1,174 school-aged youth across the state of Montana to mental health or related services as part of the Montana SOARS grant. Additionally, 819 individuals across Montana were trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid during the 2015-2016 school year. The 8-hour course covers a range of common disorders and potential crises such as helping a young person who is having a panic attack, is contemplating suicide, or is struggling with substance abuse. Youth Mental Health First Aid is listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. This training course is available to all schools and their staff at no charge through September 30, 2019. If you are interested in a training, please contact, Holly Mook at 406-444-0773 or or Emma Kerr-Carpenter at 406-869-1328 or 

MBI Recognition System 

The Montana Behavioral Initiative would like to recognize MBI Teams for the time and effort taken to successfully implement MBI at their sites. To accomplish this, MBI has created a multi-tiered recognition system. This system reflects the status of MBI implementation as teams build capacity to consistently and effectively offer positive behavior interventions and supports at each of the three tiers.

Applications for the levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) include requirements for each level of MBI implementation, directions for the completion and submission of the application, and required information needed for the Summer Institute award ceremony. The applications can be downloaded from the gray box below.

Applications, documentation, narrative, and photos need to be submitted to your site's MBI Consultant no later than May 5, 2017. Please work closely with your consultant as you build your MBI process and reflect on the integrity and sustainability of your efforts. Schools receiving recognition will be notified by OPI prior to the Summer Institute. Recognition status levels will be announced at the award ceremony during the Wednesday morning session of MBI Summer Institute.

Shodair Children's Hospital received the first-ever award for a residential program. 

Montana Suicide Awaremess and Prevention Training Act

The Montana Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training Act was passed by the Montana Legislature in 2015. The Act directs the Montana Office of Public Instruction to provide training and technical assistance to schools in Montana about youth suicide awareness and prevention training. Montana Suicide Prevention web page is a great resource for anyone that may need help. The National Crisis Text Line is a great resource for help; text MT 741 741, for 24/7 text response service. The Montana Conference on Suicide Prevention is on July 14, 2017 in Bozeman. 

Teacher Learning Hub for Suicide Prevention

The Teacher Learning Hub is an Online professional development learning network. Numerous self-paced and facilitated courses are free and available to public schools. Recently, the OPI published a course on suicide prevention titled: A Student-Guided Approach to Suicide Prevention.

 The Trevor Project

A 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. 

 MBI Summer Institute Preview - Karl Rosston

Karl Rosston is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. He provides evidenced-based programs to all Montana secondary schools, implements the State Suicide Prevention Plan, supports the Montana Suicide

Prevention Lifeline, implements firearm safety programs and statewide media campaigns, provides suicide prevention trainings, and coordinates suicide prevention efforts around the state. Karl is adjunct faculty at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy and a nationally certified trainer in QPR and Mental Health First Aid.

Previously, Karl was the Director of Social Services at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena. Before returning to Montana, he was on the faculty of the University of Colorado, School of Medicine, and a clinical consultant with the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.

He is a licensed clinical social worker who maintains a small private practice in Helena. He received his Master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver and his Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Montana.

Karl Rosston will be presenting at the MBI Summer Institute, June 19 to 23, 2017

 PBIS Tier Support
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6 Recommendations for Implementing MBI/PBIS

  1. Never stop doing what is working.

  2. Always look for the smallest change that will produce the largest effect.

    - Avoid defining a large number of goals.

    - Do a small number of things well.

  3. Do not add something new without also defining what you will stop doing to make the addition possible.

  4. Collect and use data for decision-making.

  5. Adapt any initiative to make it “fit” your school, community, culture, and context.

  6. Establishing policy clarity before investing in implementation.