Idaho Behavioral Health Care Could Change After New Recommndations

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Host Lede: Several recommendations by the Idaho Behavioral Health Council could soon make changes to behavioral health care in Idaho. With more on that, here’s NWPB’s Rachel Sun.

Sun: Two years after its creation, recommendations by the Idaho Behavioral Health Council are on their way to the Legislature this year.

Some of that legislation includes a goal to streamline the civil commitment process, says State Senator David Nelson of Moscow.

Nelson: “It feeds into our workforce problems, because it required two psychologists or psychiatrists to agree to it and so we had to sort of build some flexibility into the provider model.”

Also on Governor Brad Little’s budget request is funding for youth crisis centers, new community behavioral health clinics and psychiatric residential treatment facilities, or PRTFs, to the tune of 50 million dollars.

Dave Jeppesen, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, says the lack of PRTFs means many children go out of state for treatment.

Jeppesen: “At any given time, we have 100 kids out of state (for treatment) and it’s really hard to do family therapy when your child’s in Georgia.”

Lastly, the governor’s budget aims to fund three community behavioral health clinics.

For NWPB News, I’m Rachel Sun

Host Out: This report is made possible by the Lewis-Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation in partnership with NWPB, the Lewiston Tribune, and the Moscow-Pullman Daily news.

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