Mental Health Local Advisory Council

The Office of Public Assistance eligibility worker available:

Every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed from 12-1 for lunch) there will be an eligibility worker available to help complete paperwork needed or to answer questions about SNAP, Medicaid, Healthy Montana Kids, or TANF.  This person will be located at the Beaverhead County Resource Assistance Center at 205 E. Center Street, Dillon (County Treasurer’s Office Building).

Beaverhead County Resource Assistance Center:

The Beaverhead County Mental Health Local Advisory Committee has been able to successfully open the Beaverhead County Resource Assistance Center and will be able to help residents gain access to services and programs such as job service, assistance applications, and mental health referrals. They will be located at 205 E. Center Street in the former Department of Revenue Office.


What is the Mental Health Local Advisory Council?

Since 1999, the Beaverhead County Mental Health Local Advisory Council (MHLAC), comprised predominately of consumers, has served to assess, plan, and strengthen behavioral health services for our community. These include both mental and addictive concerns. We are joined by a Program Officer from the Addictive and Mental Disorders Division of state government so that ideas generated can be forwarded to the regional Service Area Authority, the state-wide Oversight Advisory Council, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Governor’s Office.

Our LAC was greatly strengthened in 2013 when we sought recognition under the auspices of the Beaverhead County Commissioners to further validate the importance of our work. By January 2014, we were an official county entity with governing by-laws, eleven commissioner-appointed voting members, a Commissioner representative, and elected officers. (The voting members and their terms of office are listed elsewhere on this page.) Our meetings are held the second Friday of every month from 12-2:00 in the Tom Welch meeting room in the County Treasurer’s building. Typically, numerous non-voting participants are also present and community members are welcome to attend!

In 2015, the LAC secured a grant from the Montana Healthcare Foundation to promote integrative healthcare across the county. Through this grant, consultants with the National Council on Behavioral Health recognized us as the first project of this type in the nation aimed at county-wide, rather than single-agency, integration.

We now have 10 on-going active committees, task forces, or collaborations working on the integration of behavioral health services into other facets of the community. You do not need to be a voting member, or even attend MHLAC meetings, to participate with these groups. (They are also listed elsewhere on this page.) If you are interested, we strongly encourage you to participate in one or more.

BCMHLAC Organizational Flowchart

Current Task Forces, Committees, and Collaborations:

The ACE Task Force purpose is to increase awareness of adverse childhood experience research and promote trauma-informed approaches in our schools, community groups, and other services. They have conducted over 30 trainings, hosted a Mental Health First Aid course and purchased and disbursed educational material including two documentary films, and reached over 2000 people in Beaverhead County with their message.

Chair: Melainya Ryan – 683-6106

The Criminal Justice Taskforce is exploring new ways to integrate behavioral health programs within our city and county criminal justice systems. They collaborate with our sheriff, judges, and police officers to promote more training for officers, provide screening and treatment of current inmates, and researched jail diversion programs for possible future implementation.

Chair: Alison Dunn – 683-6106

The Mental Health Crisis Committee engages in continued improvement for mental health crisis management in our community. Utilizing the findings of a local survey as a foundation, this group has made great strides in improving communication, transportation, telehealth access, contract review, and policy revisions related to service delivery. But there is more work to be done, as they now seek to diminish the number of crises occurring before they begin.

Chair: Jenny Given – 683-1183

The Summit Planning Committee organizes a regularly occurring conference event as a resource for education and training targeting providers throughout the region. This past year over 130 individuals attended the conference luncheon hosted by the group. The featured keynote speaker was Jessie Close, sister of Glen Close the actress. The theme was Creating a Trauma-informed Community.

Chair: Jerry Girard -683-7181

Universal Screening Promotion supports regular screening for behavioral and mental health issues as a critical piece in heading off mental health crises and identifying suicide risk. We do this by encouraging the incorporation of screening into already existing activities, when appropriate, and hosting supportive conversations to share ideas for best-practice strategies. This effort is responsible for creating our online providers resource list now regularly updated by the Women’s Resource and Community Support Center.

Chair: Lynn Weltzien – 683-6858

The Howard Gaines Community Service Award Committee accepts nominations and chooses a community member to honor each year for their service in promoting behavioral healthcare.  We believe scholarships and awards, such as this, bring visibility not just to the honored person for their significant contribution but also highlights the importance of this work.

Chair: Jenny Given – 683-1183

The Public Relations Committee works to raise public awareness of programs, events, and information about mental health. It maintains our Facebook page, works with the county on our web presence, and coordinates other media and public relations materials.

Chair: Melainya Ryan – 683-6106

In addition, we participate in the following collaborations:

– Women’s Resource/Community Support Center for Suicide Prevention Week events, Contact: Brylee Zumpf – 683-6106

– UMW for the Behavioral Health Career Camp, Contact: Beth Wharton – 683-7308

– Mental Health Alliance of Montana for the Children’s Mental Health Initiative, Contact – Lynn  Weltzien – 683-6858


Behavioral Health Service Provider’s List

Our community offers many choices for behavioral health (mental and addictive) type services. To help the community understand all of the resources available, the MHLAC comprised a list of all the licensed providers serving Beaverhead County residents. This list indicates whether practitioners serve adults or children, what services they specialize in, what types of payment they can accept, how long you can expect to wait, and how to contact them for appointments. This list is updated on a monthly basis by Brian Wheeler at the WRC. We are very grateful for this help! This list is currently not available in a mobile-friendly version but can be readily accessed via a computer.

Beaverhead County Area Providers List

Big Sky Behavioral Health Summit

On two occasions in the past three years, the Beaverhead County Mental Health Local Advisory Council has hosted a two-day conference focused on Integrative Healthcare. We are pleased to announce that there is another one being planned for the fall of 2018. On September 6-7, 2017,  the Summit featured exceptional presentations by some of Montana’s noted leaders in trauma-informed identification and care of children, substance abuse treatment and recovery models, and innovative interventions in our schools’ classrooms. In addition, nationally recognized Jessie Close, author of Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness, presented the keynote address to about 130 people. Her sister, the famous actress Glen Close, surprised the crowd with an unannounced appearance to support and introduce Jessie. It was a grand event. Please watch for an announcement of the coming Summit next fall and make your plans to join us. Dates will be announced on this page soon.

Pictured above from left to right: Glen Close, Katherine Buckley-Patton, and Jessie Close.

The Howard Gaines Award

This award honors Howard Gaines, a tireless advocate of mental health for over 20 years.  Howard Gaines was one of the first members of the Beaverhead Mental Health Local Advisory Council and the Western Service Area Authority.  Howard died in 2016. His service to the community has been recognized by a Proclamation of the Beaverhead County Commissioners and the MHLAC establishment of the Howard Gaines Behavioral Health Community Service Award.

On September 6, 2017, at the Big Sky Behavioral Health Summit, the first annual award was given to outstanding Beaverhead County resident, Julie Ingram, who made significant contributions in this area. Julie received a plaque honoring her achievements.

The award is open to mental health professionals and community leaders who support and enhance the mental wellness of our County. For more information on qualifications and the selection process, please see the link to the nomination form below:

There will be no Mental Health Local Advisory Council meeting in September.   The scheduled meetings are for the 2nd Friday of the month from noon to 2:00 p.m.  October 12th, November 9th and December 14th, 2018 will be the next quarter’s meeting dates.




Contact Directory

Name/Title Position Phone Email
Lynn Weltzien Chair, Consumer Rep 406-925-9974 Email
Jerry Girard Co-Chair, UMW Rep 406-683-7181 Email
Jamie Flynn Secretary 406-683-3780 Email
Rick Hartz WSAA Rep, Consumer Rep 406-925-2020 Email
Tom Rice County Commissioner Rep 406-683-6750 Email
Kim Martinell Consumer Rep 406-596-1284 Email
Cynthia White Barrett Hospital/Healthcare Rep 406-683-3078 Email
Katherine Buckley-Patton Consumer Rep 406-660-1637 Email
Jennifer Malone Community Health Center Rep 406-683-4440 Email
Beth Sullivan Consumer Rep 406-683-2580 Email
Melainya Ryan Consumer Rep 406-683-6106 Email
Wallace Arney Consumer Rep 307-343-2610 Email

Forms and Documents


Office Hours

Meetings are the 2nd Friday of every month from 12:00 to 2:00 in the Tom Welch Room at the Beaverhead County Treasurer's Office. A copy of the upcoming agenda can be found at the bottom of this page under 'forms and documents.'

Phone Number

(406) 925-9974


Archived Minutes