New Mural Brings Cultural and Supportive Energy to Downtown Billings 


Earlier this summer, the Native American Development Corporation (NADC) hosted a media messaging summer camp  for Native American youth. Throughout camp, they focused on messaging around Suicide Prevention and the new  National Suicide Hotline number, 988. A collaboration of Native American Youth at the camp created five different designs that promote the new easy-to-remember three digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The design and message chosen for this mural project were created by and inspired by  Native American youth who are excited to add value to our neighborhood and encourage dialogue about mental health  and well-being.  

KK Bonnett, Lockwood Middle Schooler, when asked what the picture means to her said, “There’s hope at the end if you  work through the pain.” When asked if she is excited about the mural she said, “Yes, because I got to know a group of  kids [during the media messaging camp] and create a meaningful message for the world to see.”

The piece covers almost 400 square feet on Midas’ South wall inside the courtyard of Billings First Congregational Church (310 N. 27th St.). Lisa Harmon, Senior Pastor  at Billings First Congregational Church, welcomes the new mural with delight,  “We are thrilled to have these talented, young artists in our midst. To have  their creative gifts on full display on our campus and in our courtyard is such a gift.” 

This mural was made possible thanks to NADC, Billings First Congregational Church for their collaboration and support, Midas who donated their wall for the occasion, and to Rachel Larson Long, Mural Painter. 

The NADC is a nonprofit organization established in 1996 located in  Billings, MT. Our vision is to be a high-quality, high-performing, sustainable community and economic development  corporation providing the tools and resources necessary for Native American individuals and families, businesses, and  communities in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota to not just survive, but thrive. 

988, Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, signed into law after the passage of bipartisan legislation in 2020, authorized 988 as a new three-digit number for suicide and mental  health crisis. All telephone service and text providers in the U.S. and the five major U.S. territories activated 988 earlier this summer. 

After the summer launch of the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline number, calls to the lifeline increased 45% compared  with the same time last year, and the majority of those calls were connected to a counselor, according to the US  Department of Health and Human Services.