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AWARE Ink Newsletter

  • AWARE

Note from our CEO

Updated: Oct 4, 2023


It has been a whirlwind start to fall for all of us here at AWARE. I’m excited to share that our team received notification from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that AWARE was awarded a $4 million, four-year grant for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Planning, Development, and Implementation.

AWARE will use the grant funding to provide the full continuum of CCBHC services of all ages in Lewis & Clark County. I encourage you to read more about this significant award here.


Additionally in September, AWARE’s Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Helena, led by Paula Samms, received notice that our CAC reaccreditation application has been recommended for approval. The accreditation process is time consuming and challenging. Paula and our team of community partners are diligent to ensure that Lewis and Clark County and the surrounding area offer first-rate support to children and families impacted by abuse or neglect. On behalf of our entire leadership team and the people we serve, I commend and thank Paula for her commitment and leadership. To learn more about AWARE’s child advocacy services click here.


And finally, we are fresh off our golf scramble that took place at the Missoula Country Club on September 27. I appreciate all our supporters who made the day great – be sure to check out the full recap later in this issue of INK.


October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This issue of INK will primarily focus on AWARE’s support of work and training opportunities for people with developmental disabilities and our team of professionals that perform great work every day. You most definitely want to make the time to read this issue – it is full of inspiration and great information.


Also happening in October is AWARE’s 2nd Annual Clinical Leadership Summit. I invite you to join us October 18-19 in Helena for this year’s event, featuring inspiration and learning opportunities in innovation and resiliency. This event is hosted by AWARE but designed to support and engage anyone who is interested in resiliency and innovations in the behavioral health world. Continuing education credits are available for licensed mental health therapists. I hope to see you there.


Finally, I’d be remiss not to provide a quick update on the Behavioral Health System for Future Generations Commission created by House Bill 872 of the 2023 Legislative Session. This commission is tasked with providing recommendations to Governor Gianforte regarding the $300 million from HB872, which provides a generational investment to reform and improve Montana’s behavioral health and developmental disabilities service systems. I hope that you join us in advocating for investments that lead to the greatest benefit for the health of Montanans and our communities – for investments in “upstream” services that help people with mental illness, substance use issues, or developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible, free from institutions.


As we head into the last few months of the year, it is hard not to get ahead of ourselves and caught up in the hustle of the upcoming holidays. I encourage you to take the time to be present and enjoy where you are and who you are with – and get outside to enjoy the crisp fall air while you can!


As always, thank you for taking the time to read this issue of INK and thank you for your support.


With sincere gratitude,

Matt Bugni – CEO

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