Subscribe for 17¢ / day

To list or change an item in the Health Briefs, send an email to The deadline is Friday at 5 p.m. for Wednesday's edition. Please note that you may view the health briefs in their entirety at

Parkinson's disease, stroke topic of workshop

Cranium Café is a brain health workshop featuring brain health exercises and education in a relaxed, fun environment. Participants learn how to feed and care for the brain for improved memory, overall health and well-being. Nanette Holmes, Life Enrichment Director at Touchmark, facilitates. This month's program is called "Parkinson's Disease and Stroke." Bring a brown bag lunch. Beverages and enrichment will be provided. Cranium Café is free, however non-perishables for Helena Food Share are suggested as a donation. Cranium Café begins at noon on Wednesday, May 16. Check out for greater detail. Cranium Café is a program of Helena Community Connections. Nearly all programs are offered at Covenant United Methodist Church, 2330 E. Broadway. All programs are located in handicapped accessible facilities. AARP Montana and Touchmark are partners in this series.

RMDC to have extra food for seniors

Rocky Mountain Development Council will have supplemental foods available to Helena area senior citizens at the Helena Food Share, 1616 Lewis. RMDC is happy to work with Helena Food Share to make the program more accessible to those individuals picking up the food.

  • Wednesday, May 23, from 8-10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, March 24, from 8-10:30 a.m.

Foods are shelf stable and consist of canned fruit, vegetables, meats, juice, cereals, milk, cheese, and peanut butter. Persons 60 years and older qualify by meeting income requirements and by being a state of Montana resident. For further information or questions, call RMDC at 447-1680 or Food Share at 443-3663.

Red Cross seeks blood donations

To make an appointment to donate blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Prepare for your donation day by getting a good night's sleep, eating a nutritious meal the night before and drinking extra fluids.

Experience a free Reiki treatment

Healing Light Reiki is offering free Reiki treatments during our Reiki Circle at 6260 Head Lane, on the third Wednesday of every month from 7-9:30 p.m. No need to call ahead, just stop in. Reiki practitioners of all levels and those who wish to experience Reiki in a group setting are welcome. Offered through light touch, Reiki is gentle, non-invasive and profound in its capacity to enhance the body's natural ability to heal itself and is a powerful approach to reduce stress, promote wellness, strengthen the immune system, relieve pain and increase as well as balance the body's energy. 

For details, call/text/email Jay Pocius at 431-8477, or visit

Cancer survivors support group

The Circle of Hope Cancer Survivors Support Group meeting takes place at noon on the first and third Wednesday at The Survivor's Boutique, 1054 Helena Ave. This meeting is open to women of all ages with all types of cancer. Bring a sack lunch and come share your experiences in a safe, confidential meeting with other survivors. For more information, call 422-0898.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Every day of the week, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are offered throughout the day in the Helena area. Some meetings offer daycare, others are specifically for men or women. All meetings and details about each meeting offered in the Helena area are listed at as well as

NAMI peer support group

The NAMI peer support group for persons living with mental illness meets from 7-8:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. The group meets at Our Place Drop-In Center, 631 N. Last Chance Gulch. Call 443-7871 for more information.

NAMI family support group

NAMI family support group for family members and friends of persons living with a serious mental illness meets on the third Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8 p.m. at the MHA Building, 2625 Winne Ave. Call 461-1168 for more information.

Narcotics Anonymous

Daily Narcotics Anonymous meetings are also offered. Meetings are listed at and at

For those who are affected by someone else’s addiction, Alanon and Alateen are offered throughout the week at varying times. Schedules for these meetings in the Helena area are available at

Nar-Anon family group

Helena Nar-Anon Family Group meetings are held Monday and Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Susanna’s Place, 512 Logan St., Room 200. The Nar-Anon Family Group is a 12-step recovery program for those affected by someone else’s addiction.

Spouse, family of veterans support group

The group meets at 10 a.m. on Thursdays at the Fort Harrison Group House. You are not alone. An opportunity for people to join others in the same situation and share experiences. 

Suicide survivors group meetings

Helena-based nonprofit Breathe, Let's Start a Conversation and the East Helena Suicide Prevention & Awareness Coalition are offering three support groups to suicide loss survivors in Helena and East Helena each month. The support groups will be held during the first Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each month as follows:

Helena: First Tuesday from 6:30-8 p.m. at St. Peter's Hospital in the education room, 2475 E. Broadway St. Doors open at 6 p.m., meeting starts promptly at 6:30.

East Helena (For youth, 14 years old and up): First Wednesday from 6:30-8 p.m. at East Helena City Hall's Council Chambers, 306 E. Main St. Doors open at 6 p.m., meeting starts promptly at 6:30.

East Helena: First Thursday from 6:30-8 p.m. at East Helena City Hall's City Council Chambers, 306 E. Main St. Doors open at 6 p.m., meeting starts promptly at 6:30.

For more information, contact Jamie Eastwood at 406-437-4233 or visit the group's Facebook page at

Free blood pressure checks 

Free blood pressure checks are available to all community members every Monday in the St. Peter’s Health Regional Medical Center’s (the hospital) main lobby from 1-4 p.m. Community members can enter through the main entrance off of Winne Avenue. St. Peter’s Health Regional Medical Center is located at 2475 E. Broadway Ave.

Grief support 

A grief support group open to anyone in the community meets the first Wednesday of the month, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., at Compassus Hospice located at 1075 N. Rodney (facing Bedford Street). For information, call 442-2214.

Volunteer caregivers meeting

Helena Community Connections continues its Bridges program called careMpower for volunteer caregivers to share with other volunteer caregivers. Hear presentations on caregiver self-care as well as tips and ideas for caring for others. CareMpower occurs the second Wednesday of every month from noon-1:30 p.m. at Covenant United Methodist Church, 2330 East Broadway, Helena. Phone program chair, Alyce, at 458-8144 for more information or visit Lunch is included. 

New shingles vaccine available at Albertsons/Osco pharmacy

Albertsons/Osco Pharmacy at 3151 N. Montana Ave., is providing the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, on a walk-in basis. Shingrix is recommended for all patients 50 and older, even if they previously received the Zostavax vaccine for shingles. Shingrix is more effective than the Zostavax vaccine, and it is given as a two-shot series. Osco Pharmacy is able to electronically bill the patients insurance before giving the vaccination, and the Shingrix vaccine has no copay with many insurances. Osco Pharmacy is also providing vaccinations for pneumonia (Prevnar and Pneumovax), tetanus with whooping cough, hepatitis A and B, and flu. Call 449-2295 ext. 4, for more information.

Elevate Montana hosts ACEs presentations

Elevate Montana hosts monthly Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) presentations at the Lewis & Clark Library, 120 S. Last Chance Gulch, the last Thursday of every month from 6-7:30 p.m. This is a free community event. Elevate Montana is a statewide, grassroots movement dedicated to building a resilient and connected Helena community. We strive to raise awareness about Adverse Childhood Experiences, their long-term health effects, the power of resiliency in overcoming ACEs and creating a more compassionate and connected community.

Elevate Montana also hosts monthly screenings for the documentary “Resiliency” at St. Paul’s Methodist Church in the Fireside Room in Susanna's Place (next to the church) the first Thursday of every month from 6:15-8 p.m. This is a free community event.


Gentle Ways class ongoing

Gentle Ways is offered every Tuesday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 at 2330 E. Broadway and is yoga-related exercise, strengthening, stretching, and balancing program for all ages and abilities. The program is free and no registration is required. Bring your own yoga mat. The workshop is led by retired yoga practitioners. Gentle Ways is offered in a relaxed environment. Contact Sandee at 442-1685 or visit for more information about Helena Community Connections’ Bridges programs. ALL HCC programs are offered in handicapped accessible facilities. Non-perishable donations for Helena Food Share are suggested.

Mid-Day meditation

Join LuAnn Whale on Thursdays at 12:10 p.m. for a free weekly 40-minute mid-day mediation class. Located in the private and peaceful downstairs studio at 40 Hibbard Way (the rear door is between the Parrot and Miller's Coin) you will have the opportunity to let go, relax and allow her to guide and teach you new ways of working with the mind, body and spirit. This class is designed to open the heart, to clear the mind and to rejuvenate the body for increased over all well-being. Guided meditation assists in stress relief and improves focus and concentration and inspires creativity. In this class we will use the breath and guided visualization to energize the body, to calm and clarify the mind.

Al-Anon monthly speaker meeting

Al-Anon (family and friends of problem drinkers) monthly speaker meeting will be held the first Friday of each month. The group meets upstairs at the First Presbyterian Church on Rodney Street and 11th Avenue. The meeting features a special guest speaker at 8 p.m. All are welcome.

Regular Al-Anon and Alateen meetings are offered throughout the week at varying times. Schedules for these meeting in the Helena area are available at

Dementia caregiver support group available

Dementia and Alzheimer’s caregiver support group meets at Touchmark on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. Respite care is available for loved ones. Touchmark is located at 915 Saddle Drive. For more information, call 449-4900. 

Gamblers Anonymous meets

Gamblers Anonymous meets Mondays at 6 p.m. at the Wilson Hall, 511 N. Park. For more information, call 431-1663.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly 

The group meets every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Susanna Place, 502 Logan St., room 104. TOPS is the original nonprofit, noncommercial network of weight-loss support groups and wellness education organization.

Overeaters Anonymous

Overeaters Anonymous meetings are offered at Susanna’s Place, 512 Logan St. Saturday's meeting is at 9 a.m. in room 104; Monday's meeting is at 7 p.m. in room 204; Thursday's meetings are at noon and 7 p.m. in room 204. For more information, call 461-7798.

Open Access at Center for Mental Health

Open Access at The Center for Mental Health has same-day scheduling or walk-in appointments for people seeking immediate treatment and mental health care. Open Access intake appointments will be available every Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Get tips on free stuff and fun ideas delivered weekly to your inbox

Call 443-7151 or go to the center during Open Access hours and staff at the center will accommodate individual needs accordingly. There may be times when individuals will not be able to access an appointment due to filled slots or lack of time. Given the situation, the center will ensure safety of the individuals. Bring in insurance cards and/or proof of finances to determine sources for payment.

Same day scheduling/walk-in appointments will dramatically decrease a person’s waiting time for initial assessment, evaluation and treatment. Doctor's referrals may be done at the same time as the assessment to expedite the process if necessary. Same-day discharge from an inpatient facility will have to be scheduled on another day.

St. Peter's Health Hosts Heartsaver CPR Courses

St. Peter’s Health offers the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver CPR course every other Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. at St. Peter’s Health Regional Medical Center. Space is limited. The course is a classroom, video-based and instructor-led course that teaches adult CPR, AED use and choking relief. It is appropriate for anyone with limited or no medical training who would like to learn how to manage a choking emergency or sudden cardiac arrest in the first few minutes until a professional is able to care for the victim. The course is $60 per person, and participants who successfully pass the course receive an American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR AED course completion card that is valid for two years. To find upcoming class dates and to register, visit To learn more about the Heartsaver CPR course, advanced class offerings or other opportunities for your organization or business, please call the American Heart Association Training Center Coordinator at 444-2118.

Health department offering flu shots

Flu shots are available at the health department’s regular walk-in immunization clinics Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 1930 Ninth Avenue. No appointment is needed.

The department can bill all insurance providers, so bring insurance information with you. Options are also available for those without insurance. Wear short or loose sleeves to make immunization easier.

In the United States, flu season usually begins in October and can last until May. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop immunity.

For more information, contact the health department at 457-8900.

American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line

The Department of Public and Health and Human Services, with National Jewish Health and input from local American Indian tobacco prevention programs and various tribal public health officials across six states, has developed a new approach to help reduce tobacco use among American Indians.

The American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line Program, the first of its kind in the country, is modeled after the highly successful DPHHS Montana Tobacco Quit Line.

The American Indian Commercial Tobacco Quit Line is available seven days a week, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 1-855-372-0037. People can enroll online at

The new program has a dedicated call line where clients will be put in touch with an American Indian cessation coach. They will be offered 10 coaching calls, eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy and given the option of reduced cost cessation medication.

Programs available to help adults with arthritis

Department of Public Health and Human Services officials say that more than one in four adult Montanans report having arthritis. Fortunately, there are programs in Montana to help address this issue.

The Montana Arthritis Program collaborates with sites across the state to implement the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, the Walk with Ease Program, the Enhance Fitness Program and the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed by Stanford University. Anyone is eligible to participate in these classes, which are held year round.

To find a class near you or more information about the Montana Arthritis Program, visit or contact Heather Welch at 444-0958 or

DPHHS offers ‘Health in the 406’ messages

The Department of Public Health and Human Services is introducing a new series of health messages called Health in the 406 that will focus on various public health topics designed to raise awareness and help Montanans live healthier lives.

There are numerous important public health issues that impact all of us, and the goal is to shed some light on those key areas where Montana is doing well, but also where improvements can be made, said State Medical Officer Dr. Greg Holzman.

Exercise focusing on leg strength and balance can prevent falls. And, there are free or low-cost exercise programs in Montana for adults with arthritis.

Anyone interested in receiving the Health in the 406 messages can go to

There will be a wide range of topics such as chronic pain, mental health and tobacco use, birth defects, colorectal screening and more. Comments or suggestions can be emailed to








Load comments