By Keely Larson
KHN-UM Legislative News Service 

Amid Dire Suicide Rates in Montana, Governor Expands Student Mental Health Screening


Last updated 2/20/2023 at 5:06pm

Keely Larson/KHN/UM Legislative News Service

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hung strings of butterflies in the Montana Capitol representing the 348 deaths by suicide reported in Montana in 2021. Color-coded by age range, the yellow symbolized kids ages 11 to 18.

Bella Nyman has struggled with her mental health since age 7, when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety.

Nyman said she was afraid to tell her parents she had thoughts of suicide. Looking back, a mental health screening might have helped her to stop hiding her struggles from adults and peers, she said.

"Hard things don't get better if we don't talk about them," Nyman said.


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