The quality of mental health in Montana is notoriously terrible. I've covered the terrible state of our mental health before, so it didn't surprise me when I found out about this study from which put Billings at the top of their list of U.S. cities with the largest percentage of depressed citizens. Number one out of hundreds of cities in the nation is normally great, but in this situation, it's terrifying.

Here's the Not-So-Shocking Study


Yes, according to this study, Billings ranks number one. A staggering 31% of the city's population have been told by a professional that they have depression. That's massive in comparison to the estimated average percentage across the world of 5%. But, why in the world is Billings' percentage so much higher than the rest of the world?

Some of the reasons listed in a report from the Montana Department of Health and Human Services include social isolation due to a lack of population in a large area, lack of quality behavioral health services, access to many different lethal means, and use of alcohol as a coping mechanism for many people.

What Options Do Billings Residents Have for Mental Health?

A while back, I covered some of the helpful things that people in the city can do to help deal with mental illness, and the majority of those can be found here. But, one of the largest resources is through your primary care doctor. Many hospitals have their own behavioral health branches and referrals to those branches are easily achieved through your doctor. Just make sure they will accept your insurance; I've had issues with that in the past.

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The rates of depression in this city need to decrease. Taking care of your mental health should be just as important as taking care of your physical health. And, look out for each other out there. You are not alone, and you are important. If you're struggling with mental health issues, or know someone who is, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988.

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