MISSOULA — A Philipsburg organization is crafting unique outdoor experiences for veterans, first responders, and families affected by PTSD or the loss of a loved one.
Since 2019, Montana Grit has been working to change the stigma around mental health for women military and first responder service members.
During service, people go through extremely difficult situations but sometimes push the feelings away in order to do a job. Often, upon returning home, there isn't adequate support when those feelings bubble to the surface.
Montana Grit Executive Director Breane Lindvall believes that pushing oneself in a safe environment can help redefine the relationship with fear and anxiety of the unknown.
"[We want to make sure] they're not alone and they're also doing something that is going to help them to actually see what they're capable of, who they actually are, spiritually, physically. When you're hunting, it provides so many different emotions that are going to happen to you that you do not expect. It's just making a decision through that fear is the key player in this whole thing."
In order to cater to those who've served, Montana Grit tailors hunting trips based on a person's physical, emotional, and mental state.
The trips aim to help these women overcome fear and triggers by creating a safe outdoor space. Included in the experience are mental health specialists, training, travel, and all gear. What comes out from the trip is hopefully life-changing.
"What I believe is that they're going to take that experience and that emotion and they're going apply it to their everyday life," Lindvall said. "They're going to see, 'Oh I just did this crazy thing and I never thought I could ever be that strong mentally and physically'."
Montana Grit will be hosting a concert titled "We are the Bold" on July 22nd at Winningham Park in Philipsburg. The non-profit hopes to bring the community together, promote comradeship, and raise funds to expand services.
To purchase tickets go to https://www.montanagritoutdoors.com/about-1