Bringing Hope and Support to Veteran Community
How a Community Coalition Is Taking the Lead on Helping Veterans
Our great city of Billings, Montana, accepted the SAMSHA/Veterans Affairs Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families. RiverStone Health, Yellowstone County’s public health agency, took the lead, since Montana has long had one of the highest suicide rates in the nation and also is among the states with the highest proportion of veterans per capita.
Early-on, the Mayor’s Challenge coalition partnered with PsychArmor Institute, using the Institute’s training courses to educate our community on military culture and how to offer support to veterans in need.
The Veteran Ready Certification Program provides employers a way to offer foundational training on military cultural competency, and earn a certificate and badge to show their efforts in bridging the veteran and civilian divide.
To date, Billings employees have completed 1,563 courses, and four agencies: The City of Billings, RiverStone Health, Dog Tag Buddies, and United Way-Yellowstone County, are certified “Veteran Ready”
By clicking the “Become Veteran Ready” button below, your agency can easily join other employers who are dedicated to better serving service members, veterans, and their families.
Billings Veteran Ready Spotlight: RiverStone Health
RiverStone Health, Yellowstone County’s public health agency, has led the Billings Mayor’s Challenge. Dr. Claire Oakley, Director of Health Promotion at RiverStone Health, was appointed by SAMHSA/VA as the leader of the Billings team. A sub-group of the Billings team planned the “roll out” of Psych Armor to the Billings community.
The Billings team pioneered using “batch registration and implementation” to give employers an easy and rapid way to provide military cultural awareness within their worksites. Managers incorporated the brief online training videos into regularly scheduled meetings, allowing large groups of employees to swiftly achieve certification. This format also promoted opportunity to engage with colleagues on what they were watching and learning.