About the Project

The Missoula County Youth Crisis Diversion Project is a collaborative community effort to provide urgent response to youth experiencing mental health crises and their families. The goal of the project is to help these youth stay in their homes by responding quickly, helping families navigate the system to make informed choices about services and supports that best fit their needs. The overarching goal is to access and integrate existing and needed services and supports to create a more streamlined system of care in Missoula for youth in crisis.

What is a crisis?

We define crisis as a situation and/or behavior which results in a high level of stress for the youth and/or persons providing care for the youth, which cannot be resolved by the available coping methods and resources of the youth or caregiver.

We know that crisis looks different for everyone. We also know that a crisis for a youth is commonly a crisis for the family. For that reason, the services we provide are flexible and individualized, and work with the whole family to make an effective plan. 

Our Services

Missoula is fortunate to have a wide range of services and resources for youth and families. The services we provide are not intended to replace or duplicate existing services. Rather, we work with existing services and resources to help families make the best choices for their needs and get set up as quickly as possible. We offer two main services, Crisis Facilitation and Short-Term Shelter Care, which may be accessed together or individually.

Crisis Facilitation

Crisis facilitation is similar to intensive case management and wraparound facilitation. A crisis facilitator makes contact with the family within 24 business hours of referral and begins gathering information to understand the youth and family's crisis, strengths, and needs. A crisis facilitator helps the family learn about and understand what resources are available and best fit the family's needs. He or she will facilitate the process of getting resources set up and coordinate with other team members, helping the family to navigate through potential barriers.   While services and resources are being put into place, the crisis facilitator helps with basic skills and interventions in the home to prevent further escalation of the crisis. 

Crisis facilitation provides 15 hours of support within 45 days. Generally, more hours are spent in the first two weeks to make a sound plan, and taper off toward the end while other resources get set up. 

Short Term Shelter Care/ Residential Stabilization

Short term stays in Missoula youth shelters are available for youth who need an alternative place to stay, but do not quite require the intensity of a hospital setting. Another way to think about this service is "crisis respite." It is for situations that would quickly escalate into a more severe crisis if the youth and family do not get space to disengage, reflect, and regroup. Shelter stays through the Project can span from 3 days to 14 days depending on the situation, needs, and availability. During this time, the youth, family and team work on a plan for the youth to return home safely.  This service is not intended for youth waiting for an out of home placement to become available. 

Short-Term Shelter Care may be accessed in conjunction with Crisis Facilitation, or as a stand alone service. If it is accessed without Crisis Facilitation, the referral must come from a professional working with the family and must be authorized by their clinical supervisor.

To make a referral

Call the Saint Patrick Urgent Mental Health Clinic at 406-327-3034 and select option 3.

National Crisis Text Line

If you are in crisis and uncomfortable calling our Crisis Project, you can reach trained crisis counselors at the National Crisis Text Line by texting "MT" to 741741. 

Thank you to our partners!

This Project was made possible and continues through the collaborative efforts of our community partners. We’d like to thank our partners in this project who are all offering their support and services to youth and families in crisis. We'd like to offer a special thanks to Missoula County Public Schools for their generous contribution to the development of this website.

4th Judicial District Youth Court


Community Medical Centers

Consumer Direct of Montana

Dan Fox Family Care Program

Full Circle Counseling Solutions

Missoula County Detention Center

Missoula County Public Schools

Missoula Forum

Missoula Police Department

Missoula Urban Indian Health Center

Partnership for Children

Providence Neurobehavioral Program

Providence St. Patrick Hospital

The Montana Mental Health Settlement Trust

The Partnership for Children

The Shirley Miller Attention Home

The State of Montana, Child & Family Services Division, 

DPHHSThe State of Montana, Children’s Mental Health Bureau, 


Watson Children’s Shelter

Western Montana Mental Health Center

Western Montana Mental Health Clinic

Winds of Change

Youth Court Probation

Youth Dynamics

Youth Homes