In December of 2015, Matt Kuntz, the Executive Director of NAMI Montana, was frustrated about finding out-of-state treatment centers for Montana families. NAMI Montana gets calls from around Montana, the region, and sometimes the natioIn a world overwhelmed with information, it was almost impossible to find good information about intensive mental health and addiction treatment centers.n for people looking for intensive mental health and substance abuse treatment. The requests were for treatment in Montana and all around the country.
We used internet search engines every day to help us find what treatment centers are available in an area for certain conditions. It was often hard to even find these treatment centers, especially in urban areas where there are a variety of different inpatient and outpatient treatment options. The standard search engines struggled to differentiate between the different categories of treatment center. That meant that we were on the phone with desperate families who needed care and it was hard for us to find care for them, even though we did that type of searches every day.
The decision over which intensive treatment center is so important. The right care at the right time can change and maybe even save a person’s life. Intensive medical care also can come with a significant financial burden, even for those with medical coverage.
These critical decisions are often made with very little information. Outpatient clinicians can be helpful in making recommendations, but their analysis is often limited because they only know how different facilities have been able to serve their patients. They don’t have a strong understanding of facilities that are outside of their region.
The treatment center websites are helpful in explaining what kind of care they have, but they are basically marketing tools. Internet reviews are also valuable, but it is really hard to compare different treatment centers against each other.
NAMI Montana created Treatment Scout in order to help people in this critical decision-making process. Helping them easily find information they need to make the best care decision for themselves or for someone they love.
NAMI Montana is the Montana chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illnesses and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.
NAMI Montana supports, educates, and advocates for Montanans with severe mental illnesses and their families. NAMI Montana in Billings, Bozeman, Bitterroot, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula and Southwest Montana. We are a tax-exempt charity and would really appreciate your support.
Matt was hopeful that the website could be started with donations and then supported through advertising revenue. The project has been bootstrapped with generous donations from Family Support Foundation for Mental Illness, NAMI Helena, NAMI Bozeman, and the Oro y Plata Foundation because of the critical need to find information about treatment centers outside Montana for their families.
We are working toward making the site more sustainable through advertising, but are currently reliant on donors to make this essential resource available to people who need it.
Matt Kuntz was born and raised in Helena, Montana. Matt received his bachelor’s degree from West Point and his law degree from the University of Oregon. Matt served as in infantry officer in the Army before a training injury ended his military career. Matt was practicing corporate law in Helena when he lost his step-brother, a Montana National Guardsmen who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, to suicide. Spurred on by his step-brother’s death, Matt began advocating for effective screening and treatment of post traumatic stress injuries of our returning service members. S. 711 was the culmination of these efforts. It required multiple, face-to-face mental health screenings throughout America’s fighting force. It was signed into law as Section 708 in the Defense Authorization Act of 2010 on October 8, 2009.
Matt left his law practice to take on the role as Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness for Montana’s (NAMI Montana’s) Executive Director in order to support, educate, and advocate for all Montanans suffering from serious mental illness and their families.
Matt was instrumental in the development and the passage of S.785 – The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act which passed Congress unanimously in the early fall of 2020. Matt was particularly involved with the Precision Medicine and Emergency Room Care portions of the legislation. The bill is named for Commander John Scott Hannon, a dear friend and colleague of NAMI Montana.
Matt has helped lead the charge on a number of successful state advocacy efforts to establish mental health peer services in Montana, develop children’s mental health crisis beds, prevent the incarceration of offenders with serious mental illness, etc. Matt was also instrumental in the development of the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University and is a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Research Advisory Council.
Matt was recognized by President Obama in his inauguration festivities as one of eighteen Ordinary Americans Who Have Made An Extraordinary Difference. Matt was also recognized as the Chronicle of Philanthropy, People Magazine, and Major League Baseball.
Matt’s goal is for the website to begin by being funded through donations and then find sustainability through advertising revenue. The project has been bootstrapped with generous donations from Family Support Foundation for Mental Illness, NAMI Helena, NAMI Bozeman, and the Oro y Plata Foundation.
Treatment Scout’s use has gone up dramatically in the past year. The goal of finding sustainability through advertising is getting closer, but we still rely on donations to make this resource available.
1331 Helena Ave.
Helena, MT 59601