Last Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act. Senator Jon Tester sent NAMI Montana this redline version of the bill in order to commemorate our work on it together. I’m so grateful to the Hannon family, Senator Tester, Senator Jerry Moran, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Staff, NAMI Montana’s amazing donors, the Trans-Montana Snowmobile Charity Ride, and everyone helped support this effort. Also, thankful for the VA staff who have so graciously allowed us to stay involved with the implementation of the Hannon Precision Brain Health Initiative to help ensure more veterans with brain health conditions get the right care at the right time. The overall effort is such a powerful memorial to a dear friend and ally, but we are only getting started.

Hannon Act Redline Version

Precision Brain Health Advancement

One of the key efforts that NAMI Montana worked on in the Hannon Act is to create the establishment of the Hannon Precision Brain Health Initiative (Section 305).
The purpose of this section to to create a multi-year Initiative to advance precision brain health technology to help more veterans “get the right care for their mental health conditions at the right time.”
More evidence came out early this week that this is the right time for a national Initiative for Precision Brain Health.
Dr. Amit Etkin MD, Ph.D.’s precision psychiatry company (Alto Neuroscience) came out of the stealth mode this week and announced their well-funded effort with this goal: “In five years, in our mind, we’ve completely changed psychiatry,.. into a much more precise practice.And the frustration of trial and error for both patients and clinicians is — if not gone — is certainly on the way to getting there.” [Read the full article at this link]
Dr. Etkin is one of the nation’s leading psychiatric researchers and we’ve been working to keep you up to date on his efforts for years. In August of 2020, Dr. Etkin presented at the Mary McCue Montana NAMIWalk Kick Off Lunch. In April of 2019, Dr. Etkin presented at Montana State University in a combined event co-hosted by NAMI Montana. We are really happy for Dr. Etkin and excited to see how Alto Neuroscience’s efforts progress in the years ahead.
Alto Neuroscience’s momentum also highlights why NAMI Montana fought so hard for the creation of the Hannon Precision Brain Health Initiative at the Veterans Administration. This technology is ripe to make a significant improvement in diagnosing and treating brain health conditions.
It’s the perfect time for a serious effort to take advantage of the technological development and research momentum to make a larger impact in our nation’s process for diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.
We are so grateful for your support as we continue working to make a difference.
Thank you,
Matt Kuntz
Executive Director
NAMI Montana

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NAMI Montana has a resource guide for every county in Montana. Check it out at https://namimt.org/montana-county-mental-health-resource-guides/

The Treatment Scout website helps people find effective inpatient and residential care. It can also help you explore other intensive care options for mental health, addiction, etc. Find out more at http://www.treatmentscout.com/