The last couple of years have been hard of most of us. In fact, national studies have already noted the increased anxiety and depression levels throughout the world - let alone in the United States.

Mark Schure of Montana State University will talk about community mental health issues in an MSU Provost's Distinguished Lecturer Series Tuesday, April 12. The 7 p.m. talk will be at the Museum of the Rockies in the Hager Auditorium and it's free.

Schure will present unique ways people are helping mental health issues and providing hope in rural areas that have limited health professionals. "Thrive" is an online therapy program that he believes has helped reduce depression and anxiety severity. He studied the Waypoint program in 2019, which MSU began to offer in 2017. He said the program is specifically designed to be used in rural settings.

In 2020, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services made the Thrive program available to hundreds of Montanans over the age of 18. Before that, 1,000 people residents were admitted free of charge, as part of further research.

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Schure said in an MSU news release, "I believe in three things: technology, novel ways to deliver mental health awareness and making sure everything speaks to the values and cultural beliefs of whoever you're dealing with."

Schure is a member of the MSU Department of Health and Human Development and the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery, which has several studies ongoing in the state. That includes working with high school youth in the tribal communities at Flathead and Rocky Boy reservations. Schure has two master's degrees and also completed a doctoral program in Oregon State University in 2013.

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