Two veterans who are involved in the Missoula Veterans Treatment Court Program were on Talk Back on Monday to speak about the program and to encourage more veterans to become mentors.

Former City Manager Larry Anderson appeared with U.S. Marine veteran Larry Schauff.

Anderson described the purpose of the Missoula Veterans Treatment Court.

“Missoula Veterans Court has been around in Missoula since 2011,” said Anderson. “It was one of 100 veterans’ courts throughout the country. And now I think there's over 400 and it's an alternative treatment court that serves veterans who are struggling with mental illness, substance abuse and are involved in the criminal justice system.”

Larry Schauff outlined the criteria for someone to qualify for the Veterans Treatment Court.

“They had to go through the court system, meaning they were in they were in trouble with the law,” he said. “They have to have a chemical dependency, and they have to have a mental health issue. Those are the qualifications. That's what it takes to get into the program.”

Schauff said there are four parts to the treatment court program.

“First, there’s orientation, and that's four weeks long,” he said. “The next one is stabilization, and that's eight weeks. Phase Three is wellness. That's a minimum of 22 weeks and Phase Four is maintenance which is a minimum of 18 weeks.”

Anderson said the chief reason for appearing on Talk Back is to recruit new mentors for the program.

“Every year there is an annual training session held for existing mentors and prospective mentors and this two part training program will be held Saturday, January 23rd,” he said.  “That session will start at 8:30 a.m. and run till noon on Saturday, and the second session will be held Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 8:30pm.”

The training sessions are held in the meeting room at Westside Lanes on Wyoming Street in Missoula.

For more information on how to be a part of the Veterans Treatment Court Program, contact Richard Reed at 406-258-4726.


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