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Jan 12

Native American Women Speak Out About Sexual Violence

“As the country has its national reckoning with cases of sexual harassment, abuse and inequalities, there is at least one overlooked group of women. The treatment of indigenous women in the U.S. and their accusations of sexual violence perpetrated against them have been seemingly ignored. According to U.S. government statistics, Native American and Alaska Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the country. Caroline Antone of the Tohono O’odham Nation near Tucson, Arizona, was molested when she was six years old and endured years of continued assault. As an adult, she has devoted herself to awareness, holding rape response clinics on tribal lands and encouraging others to no longer hide what happened to them.”

Click this link to watch this powerful video:


Jan 08

How do I know if I have a Problem with Substance Use?

“Over 21 million people suffer from addiction in the United States – that’s 1 in 7 people. On average, we lose 144 people a day to drug overdoses and that number climbs to 375 if you factor in alcohol-related deaths.”

For more information, a self-assessment, helpful resources and more, visit Addiction Policy Forum’s website:


Jan 04

How One School Dramatically Changed Its Students’ Behavior In One Year

Sometimes a problem can appear so big, so overwhelming that we wonder if a solution is possible.  This video is a great example of how the ‘impossible’ is ‘possible’.

Click the link below to see the video:

Jan 03

Ever Wondered What Resilience Looks Like?

We talk about “resilience” and we’ve all heard stories about the power of resilience in overcoming adversity.  Have you ever seen still shot images of resilience?  Click the link below to read Mary Annette Pember’s article titled “10 Photos: I Saw What Resilience Looks Like”.


Dec 27

The Number of Newborns Who Experience Withdrawal from Opioids is Rising in Montana


It is perfectly normal and expected that newborn babies will cry.  What is unexpected is when newborns sweat, experience tremors and have shrill and high-pitched shrieks because they are going through withdraw. Even though many of these children will leave the hospital healthy, it’s unclear if there will be long-term psychological, social and physical impacts.


Copy and paste the link below to read the full article from the Montana Standard:


Dec 26

Say NO to Distraction, Discouragement, and Devaluation!

To our collaborators, partners and cheerleaders —

It has been an incredible year! I truly believe with people like you and your teams, the future for our nation’s children and families looks brighter than ever! Yes, it’s a very long road, and hard, hard work. But we cannot allow the enormity of what needs to be done to distract us from doing it. We cannot allow naysayers to discourage us. We cannot allow those people with closed minds, or who are resistant to change, to devalue our work. Our nation’s children need us… need you!

I believe we are all called to a higher purpose than any one individual or any single organization. I recall one Saturday night when Rick Warren said, as a small part of his message, “We’re here on Earth sixty, seventy, eighty years, and then we’re gone.” It was a casual comment, but it struck me hard and deep at that moment how brief life really is. That was almost 23 years ago, and his comment still remains in my mind. It is easy to get caught up and bogged down in the “daily-ness” of our jobs. But I encourage you to take some time in these last few days of 2017 to  remember that your work – each and every day – has tremendous value to the children and families that need you. And together – with the power of our collective passion and devotion to this work – we are creating, and will continue to create positive change in this nation. Let’s make this nation safe, secure, and loving for our kiddos and each other.

I count myself very fortunate – blessed – to be working alongside people like you. The team at ChildWise Institute offer ourselves to you in service of your work and the well-being of children and families everywhere. Please let us know how we can increase our collective impact with you in this coming year.

In the meantime, I wish you a warm, peaceful and beautiful holiday!

Todd Garrison
Executive Director – Curator
ChildWise Institute
ChildWise Institute

Dec 22

Elevate Montana is a statewide, grassroots movement dedicated to building resilient and connected communities throughout Montana.

Dec 08

Holocaust Survivor Families Yield New Insight into Trauma Across Generations

“In the 1980s, most of the research Bea Hollander-Goldfein was reading about how Holocaust survivors were faring psychologically focused entirely on the damage the Nazis had done.


That didn’t ring completely true to Hollander-Goldfein, a psychologist whose parents were both survivors.  She saw problems, but also successes.  In 1988, she gathered a team of 16 — six were children of survivors — to study the existing scientific literature.  Dissatisfied, they set out in 1991 to do their own work, talking deeply and in a more nuanced way with survivors and their children about how the Holocaust had affected them.”
** Click Link Below to Read Complete Article **


Dec 04

Drawing Connections, Building Empathy and Resilience in Traumatized Children

At Intermountain’s residential services, we have spent a lot of time this past month focusing on thankfulness, gratitude, and recognizing how richly we have been blessed. This has allowed me, as their chaplain, to encourage empathetic responses to the needs of others while also building a positive self-image as each child recognizes that they have something to give others. Woven into this narrative was a recognition of our interdependence and that it is not a sign of weakness to acknowledge that you need your “team”– those God has placed in your life, in your community, to support you and give you the opportunity to support.

Read More:

Nov 06

Hey teachers! Look what is happening for you!

School House Connection is a national organization promoting success for children and youth experiencing homelessness, from birth through higher education.

If you don’t know it, Montana has a huge population of school-age children and youth that are homeless in some fashion. Unfortunately, not enough of our public is aware of this. Here are two great webinars School House Connection is offering in this month of November:

Sesame Street in Communities: Traumatic Experiences
The McKinney-Vento Act requires that states have procedures to ensure that McKinney-Vento students “who meet the relevant eligibility criteria do not face barriers to accessing… extracurricular activities.” This new provision adds to longstanding requirements to remove barriers to enrollment (including full participation in school activities) and retention in school. Join the experts in a discussion of strategies to ensure full participation for all our McKinney-Vento students, including unaccompanied youth.

Breaking Down Educational Barriers: Insights from Students
Two young people, one who has graduated from college and one who is in the second year of a degree program, will share their tips for schools and service providers on how to identify youth who are experiencing homelessness, keep them engaged in and attending school, and work with them as true partners to get them to high school graduation and into (and through) post-secondary education.

Montana is so fortunate to have the greatest, most compassionate, caring teachers and school staff on Earth! Don’t miss this opportunity to put that compassion to work in learning about how to help homeless kiddos!


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