About Us


Contact Information:
spcoaltionyv@gmail.com
(406)-647-0379



Milestones and Accomplishments
Over time, the Coalition has met monthly, developed infrastructures for communication.  Participation is voluntary and has varied. Overall representation has included secondary and higher education, social services, public health, addiction, governmental, survivors of suicide loss, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention- Montana Chapter board members,  youth programs and more. Below are highlights from the past. 

2003
  • A suicide prevention task force emerged in Billings, Montana, among community members interested in and concerned about Montana’s consistently high suicide death rates. 
  • Eleanor Edmonds, a representative of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Joan Nye, a local survivor of suicide loss, and Karl Rosston, Montana State Suicide Prevention Coordinator provided guidance to task force regarding initiatives for suicide prevention.

2004
  • Joan Nye (2004-2006) became chairperson of the task force. 
  • Retired psychiatrist, Dr. Don Harr and Mike Yakawich join the newly formed suicide prevention task force
  • RiverStone Health Care funded Paul Quinette,  Director of the QPR Institute, Spokane, Washington,  to present two onsite Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper trainings 
  • The first Community Out of the Darkness Walk in Montana was held. 

2005
  • Suicide Prevention Task Force renamed ‘AFSP – MT - Yellowstone Valley Branch’ 

2006 
  • Mike Yakavich became chairman (2006-2014) 
  • Renamed ‘Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yellowstone Valley’
  • Launched Holiday Cards to Survivors, a program providing holiday greeting cards to those who had lost a loved one to suicide.
  • Distributed awareness and educational packets for suicide prevention and survivors of suicide Loss
  • Formalized positions for coalition officers to include chair, co-chair, secretary and treasurer.
  • Adopted articles of operation and bylaws, vision statement and developed a brochure to promote the coalition.
  • Organizing a community suicide prevention awareness program.

2010
  • Submitted a request for funding proposal to Montana Mental Health Settlement Trust Fund to assist with community education.

2011
  • Received Montana Mental Health Settlement Trust Fund grant for ‘Education and Training for Families, Caregivers and Educators in Suicide’
  • South Central Montana Regional Mental Health Center became the fiscal sponsor to allow for donations from community groups and individuals.
  • Hosted our first conference titled  ‘Suicide  Prevention Training’

2012
  • Hosted our 2nd annual conference ‘Living a Resilient Life’
  • Coalition Facebook page established

2013
  • Hosted our 3rd annual conference ‘Creating a Culture for Suicide Prevention’
  • Created policies and procedure for a QPR training evaluation database to capture impact of community training.

2014
  • Hosted our 4th annual conference ‘Fostering Hope Through Interpersonal Endeavors’ 
  • Nathan Stahley became chairperson (2014-present)
  • Coalition brand mark and website established

2015
  • Hosted our 5th annual conference ‘Strategic Approaches to Preventing Suicide’

2016
  • Hosted a collaborative conference on suicide prevention and trauma with the Billings Area Family Violence Taskforce.  This served as the 27th annual McGuire Memorial Conference on Family Violence and 6th Annual Conference on Suicide Prevention
Need help right away? Reach out to a local or national resource that’s ready to help. 

Crisis and Suicide Prevention Hotline
(800) 273-8255

Crisis and Suicide Prevention Textline
Text “Go” to 741741