Keith Orchard has seen just about everything in his role as a licensed clinical social worker and a regional trainer at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
But at a recent forum sponsored by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, he drew his inspiration from a different source.
Quoting Dr. Ross Green’s book Lost at School, he said, “Children will do well when they can.”
It was this quote that resonated with the city officials, healthcare professionals, community leaders and school district administrators at the forum.
Forums like these are a part of this multiyear grant in Nampa. Leaders at the Foundation know that creating positive change and gaining a true understanding of what’s happening in the community requires decision makers and stakeholders gathering together to learn, collaborate and engage in discussions.
The Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the root causes of some of Idaho’s most pressing health issues, launched its Youth Behavioral Health initiative in 2018. Currently, the initiative is funding a multiyear grant to the Nampa School District to improve behavioral outcomes of students.
“It’s called the understanding phase,” said Connor Sheldon, a program officer for the Foundation. “This group has met five times with the goal of learning about youth behavioral health and better understanding the youth behavioral health system in Nampa so we can strategically create and implement plans for improvement.”
Other featured speakers at these forums were:
● Kendra Witt-Doyle, Executive Director of the Foundation. She spoke about how communities can make systems changes.
● Matt McCarter, Director Student Engagement at the State Department of Education. He spoke on burdensomeness and belongingness research completed by Thomas Joiner, Ph.D.
“We are eager to continue working with this group as they explore how they can proactively find ways to improve behavioral health outcomes,” Sheldon said.