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AWARE Ink Newsletter


Note from our CEO

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Summer seems to have gone by too fast, in a blur of work, time with family and friends, outdoor adventure, and fun in the sun. Before we break out the pumpkins for carving, I encourage us all to take the time to reflect on the true meaning of Labor Day that we celebrated earlier this week. This holiday isn’t just the “unofficial end of summer”. It is a day that celebrates the labor movement in the United States and to recognize the millions of hardworking Americans who stood up for workers’ rights. The determination of those people laid the foundation for our working lives today.

In the wise words of Martin Luther King, Jr, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity.” Thank you to each and every one of you on the AWARE team. While not always easy, the work we do is important. You help people live independent lives and you save lives.

September is National Suicide Awareness Month. Anyone could be struggling with suicidal thoughts. If this is you and you are reading this, know you are not alone.

We can all help prevent suicide. The 988 lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress as well as prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. I encourage you to visit to learn more about resources that are available if you or someone in your life is struggling. From the website, here are a few tips:

Ask: Research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks about them in a caring way. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.

Be There: Individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgment.

Keep Them Safe: A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline.

Help Them Stay Connected: Studies indicate that helping someone at risk to create a network of resources and individuals for support and safety can help them take positive action and reduce feelings of hopelessness.

Follow Up: Studies have also shown that brief, low-cost intervention and supportive, ongoing contact may be an important part of suicide prevention, especially for individuals after they have been discharged from hospitals or care services.

AWARE is an organization whose mission is to help people live independent lives through community-based mental health services. We offer a wide range of services, designed to meet the people we serve where they are and provide a wraparound approach to care. In this issue of INK, you will have the opportunity to learn more about our psychiatric practitioners and our Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) team. The dedicated individuals serving on these teams make a difference in the lives of the people they work with 365 days a year. During National Suicide Prevention month, it is suitable to highlight these programs this month. Please take the time to read this issue of INK. Not only will you find success stories and learn more about the work we do via our Psychiatric and PACT programs, you will also find important resources from AWARE and the Suicide Prevention website.

Looking ahead, our team is busy putting the finishing touches on two events and it is not too late for you to get involved! On September 27, AWARE’s Charity Golf Scramble will take place at the Missoula Country Club. This scramble is designed as an awareness-building and friend-raising event. All abilities of golfers are invited to join us for a fun day on the course to support a great cause. The field is filling fast and there are limited sponsorship opportunities remaining – learn more and register today at

October 18-19, we are hosting our 2nd Annual Clinical Leadership Summit at the Great Northern in Helena. This summit is open to the public and I invite you to join us. The summit focus is on clinicians and students studying in the field, those who support them, and their natural and often assigned roles as leaders. Our goals are to build resilience, teach how to build resilience, and provide practical tools for use in everyday work.  We have two tracks this year-- resiliency and innovations. Throughout the keynotes the focus is filling up clinicians’ cups through inspirational speakers and resiliency practice, including movement and HOPE measures as the follow up to ACEs.  The innovations or practical sessions include speakers on leadership, school-based services, child advocacy, trauma-informed practices, and nonviolent communication. To learn more and register, please visit

As always, thank you for reading this note and this issue of INK, and for your support to make the work we do possible. I hope to see you soon.


Matt Bugni – CEO


On The Cover

Best Day Ever - Lady of the Rockies Tour

It was the best day over for this crew who had the opportunity to tour the Lady of the know, the big statue of Mother Mary on the East Ridge just outside of Butte? Of course, the trip couldn't end without a little lunch at the Pizza of their favorite places to eat!

Definitely a great community field trip for everyone!

To learn how you can help make more BEST DAYS EVER possible for the people we serve at AWARE, head over to this link: Thank you!

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