New website launches to help Montana veterans

Feb. 4, 2014
http://www.krtv.com/

GREAT FALLS - Lieutenant Governor John Walsh announced the launch of a new website to help military personnel transition to civilian life.

Deb Matteucci, Adult Mental Health Service Bureau Chief, said "Veterans were struggling, they were in crisis and not having opportunities to access the programs that they needed."

According to Montana Veteran Affairs, Montana has tens of thousands of military veterans, and thousands of active duty members.

Resources are available for them, but Matteucci said not many know help is out there.

"If you are in one of the larger communities you can find services fairly well, but if you're in a small rural community, if you're in northeast Montana, if you're up along the Hi Line it gets pretty difficult to find those services," she said.

Now, the new "Network Of Care" website is hoping to change that.

Over the last three years, the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services has been creating a platform for all retired and active military and their families.

Walsh said, "This will allow our veterans and our families to go to one location to find out all the services that are available to them. You know previously they may have to go to several different sites, so this will link all those sites into this one location."

The website provides links to resources for housing, education, employment opportunities, and mental health services.

Matteucci said, "Having the general health care community understand veterans' health needs was very important. We did a lot of training, on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries and other combat related illness and injuries."

Thirteen other states are currently using the Network Of Care platform, and have deemed it successful.

Now the bureau wants to offer advance search options, especially for rural communities.

"We wanted to make it searchable by county, because of the large land mass that is Montana, that having services available that you could search for in your community," explained Matteucci.

Click here to visit the website.