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:


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:

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”.


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:


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

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

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 **


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:

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!


Imagine living inside a box buried inside a box buried inside a box…

That’s how Dr. Kent Hoffman, Co-Originator of Circle of Security International began his comments about this incredible new resource for parents! See his full statement below.

A short six years ago, ChildWise Institute was founded by Intermountain, a nationally-recognized organization specializing in helping and healing children from emotional and mental health disorders. Intermountain are also experts in helping families of distressed children create a nurturing environment of stability and success. I think of Intermountain as the trauma center that heals the wounds of children, youth, and families – and ChildWise a the organization working to stop the wounds from happening. We do this through three integrated strategies: Advance AwarenessAccelerate Knowledge, and Advocate for Positive Change. ChildWise is an independent 501-c-3 non-profit, but I refer to us as a social-profit organization because the goals and results of our work is a healthier community and state…. healthier physically, mentally, emotionally, and economically.

We are so excited to announce the release of a new book called Be Child WiseRather than me telling you about the power of this invaluable resource, here’s what parents and professionals are saying:

“Imagine living inside a box buried inside a box buried inside a box. Now imagine your response to such a condition. Would your behavior be easy going or enjoyable to be around? Absolutely not. Your behavior would likely be somewhere on the continuum between intensely out of control or profoundly withdrawn.

Finding a way to reach a child “living inside a box buried inside a box buried inside a box” is precisely what this wonderful volume is offering its readers. As a parent or professional working with such a child you have come upon an approach that will help you understand the hidden pain and hidden needs that a child-at-risk simply can’t articulate.”
Dr. Kent T. Hoffman
Circle of Security International

“We all know the basic parenting complaint that kids don’t come with a guidebook.  Well, this book is the closest thing I have found for children who have been through trauma.  Finding all these resources in one place is a personal miracle – it would take years of attending top-notch parenting classes to amass all the ideas, hints, tips and new perspectives offered in this book.  When you work with this book, your child’s therapists will be asking for your resources!”
Patti Gilhousen Guptill, adoptive parent

This book is incredibly complete; a fabulous guide to making families wise and healthy. The book should be in every therapist’s, social worker’s and family’s hands. I especially like the ending statements for each chapter as a reminder of poignant thoughts and the permission for parents to read as they need and explore chapters that are relevant at a certain part of the child’s life. This will remain a classic.”
Sharon Kaplan Roszia M.S. 

“The relational treatment program outlined in this book literally saved my family.  It saved us from suicide, and very likely homicide, at the hands of my then 11-year-old adoptive child who suffered from attachment disorder.  I am a far better parent and my child is far healthier thanks to this program.”
Adoptive Parent

Go here to learn more or order your copy.

"Be Child Wise" Book & Workbook Now Available!

Learn tested and proven methods for raising happy, healthy kids in today's world.