What can I try?

Adult Interventions

Advice for parents, teachers, counselors, and other adults.

Try to get as much information as you can about their crime. Is it a crime that an adult could be ticketed for, or is it a crime because they are a juvenile?


Does the crime have consequences for the community/non-family members? If yes, police intervention should be used. If not, determine for your family whether police intervention is appropriate at this time.


Ask about or try to find out what need they are trying to fill.


Teach them about the possible consequences of their behavior. Be as accurate as possible, and try to avoid scare tactics you can’t follow through on.


Set clear limits with rules and consequences, legally and at home or school.

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Who can help?

Call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 for police response, or take youth the police department for citation if it is safe to do so.

When calling 9-1-1, be ready to give the dispatcher the right information. This includes name: phone number, address, date of birth, people involved, a description of the situation, and what kind of help you need. It may be helpful to inform the dispatcher of the child’s mental health issues so that the responding officer is aware. Remember that 9-1-1 is an emergency response, and the goal of the responding officer will be to ensure safety and move on to the next call.

There are several possible responses by law enforcement. Law enforcement may provide support to stabilize, transport youth to the Emergency Room for evaluation, write a ticket, and/or place a youth in detention. Once law enforcement arrives, the outcome is up to their discretion. See Law Enforcement for more information.

Also visit 9-1-1 Frequently Asked Questions.

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Get counseling or mental health treatment

There are several different ways to seek counseling or treatment. This includes a private therapist, a school counselor, mental health center services, and/or substance abuse treatment.

Private therapists can be a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC), or a psychologist. This is usually covered by insurance and occurs weekly or every other week. Most therapists will individualize treatment and may offer more frequent sessions if needed. Youth may also receive counseling at school. This may be in the form of a school counselor who is accessible to all youth. Find out from the teacher who the school counselor is and how you and/or the youth can set up a time with them. The school counselor can give you more information about services available in the school.

Youth in crisis may need more intensive support than outpatient therapy or school counseling. Mental health centers offer a variety of services: case management, in-home services, and individual and family therapy. Some mental health centers also offer medication management. 

If this process is overwhelming, you need help finding the right fit, or you cannot wait for the first available appointment, contact the Youth Crisis Diversion Project. A crisis facilitator will meet with you within 24 business hours and guide you through the process of selecting the right service for your needs. You may also contact the Urgent Care Clinic at the Providence Center, where you can meet with a licensed clinical social worker and a psychiatric nurse within a week. 

For Missoula providers, see below. For providers in the Bitterroot Valley, click here.

Tips for Selecting a Provider.


Contact Information

Sexual Abuse/Assault

First Step

(406) 329-5776

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