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Idaho Youth Advocates’ mission is to ensure that the children of Idaho have access to quality, sustainable, mental healthcare in their communities.

Idaho Youth Advocates envisions an Idaho where children with mental health and behavioral health disorders no longer consider suicide as an answer to their struggles; no longer are placed in the juvenile justice system because of their mental health issues; no longer must wait for mental health treatment; and can receive care in their communities or in the setting that is best for them and their families. We envision an Idaho with a mental health service network that is a model for the rest of the country.

Our Goal: Make Idaho Children's Mental Health Reform (CMHR) a Reality

The statistics about the mental health of Idaho’s children—our children—are sobering. One out of five children in Idaho considered suicide in a 12-month period. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for adolescents in our state. And yet more than 70% of Idaho children with a major depressive episode never receive a mental health visit. Not surprisingly, Idaho currently ranks 42nd out of 50 states in access to mental health services. But that can all change.

The Idaho Children’s Mental Health Reform (Idaho CMHR) is a state-funded plan designed to give our children access to the services they need when they need it. We believe that with the full support of Governor Otter and the State Legislature, CMHR can transform Idaho from a state with one of the weakest children’s mental health systems to one of the strongest—in the process creating a model that can serve as a guide other states.

letterSend a letter to the Governor

Last year, Gov. Otter signed an agreement known as the “Jeff D. Settlement.” The purpose of the agreement was to finally put in place a set of comprehensive mental health services for the children of Idaho. These services, known collectively as the CMHR, can change the lives of thousands of our children.

No longer will children in extreme mental crisis be placed in the back of patrol cars for hours simply because our officers have no other ways to keep them safe. No longer will these children be housed in ER’s and detained in back of police cars because of their mental health issues.

The Children’s Mental Health Reform plan will change the way we deliver mental health services in our state by putting the child and family at the center of a care team and wrapping needed services around them. Mental health providers who are trained to treat mental illness will deliver these services that prevent crisis, support parents and help children thrive as contributing members of our society.

In the process, CMHR will make more effective use of our tax dollars by treating children’s mental health issues before they require more expensive care.

We invite you to send a letter to the Governor, thanking him for his support for CMHR and letting him know where you stand on the issue of children and mental health here in Idaho. Use the link to sign our letter and lend your voice to fight for our children’s future.

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