Caring for Our Neighbors

Similar to many mountain resort communities, Big Sky is a bit of a paradise paradox: with its sparkling rivers, snow-topped peaks and endless wilderness this is an outdoor enthusiast’s mecca. But under the hood, Big Sky can be a very challenging place to live with long winters, feelings of isolation, a transient community and income disparity. Montana is one of the top three states in the nation where rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide are the highest. When we normalize the struggles, we can create new ways of connecting with one another. Community members and leaders aim to cultivate a culture of care that supports people across all spectrums of age, race, gender and socio-economics.

“One day I passed out, got woken up by the fire department. They took me to the hospital. The nurse noted after testing my blood alcohol level that she could not believe I was conscious, that I was still alive. This phrase haunts me, still gives me shivers. I looked at the nurse and said, ‘Oh, I guess it’s just the Irish curse.’ Me making light of the fact that I should have been dead was just horrible, horrible, inexplicable. That was when I realized I needed to get help. I detoxed for a week in a hotel with the help of two friends. It was horrible.”

Seth Griggs-Ryan

Community member and treatment program graduate

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