About the Project

The Ravalli 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 Ravalli County for youth in crisis. The project is an independent grant funded through the Montana Mental Health Settlement Trust.

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

Ravalli County has many existing resources to serve 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 30 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 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, please contact West House at (406) 532-8990. 


This Project was made possible 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. 

Bitterroot Valley Education Cooperative

Child and Family Services Division

Darby School District

Emma's House

Full Circle

Hamilton School District

Hamilton City Police

Human Resource Council

Individual therapist community

Irene walters, APRN

Literacy Bitterroot

Marcus Daly Hospital

Missoula Youth Crisis Diversion Project

Montana Youth Parole

Montana Children's Mental Health Bureau

Montana Vocational Rehabilitation

Ravalli County Sheriff 

Ravalli County Youth Court Probation

Ravalli Family Medicine


University of Montana

West House

WMMHC - Riverfront Mental Health Center

Youth Homes

Youth Dynamics, Inc. (YDI)