Nine schools across Idaho will be able to better support students with behavioral health needs thanks to awards given by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health.

The Technical Assistance Awards will enable the schools to implement the Healthy Minds Partnership, a collaborative effort between schools and behavioral health providers. The premise of the partnership is simple — clinical behavioral healthcare providers are located within schools so students can conveniently access necessary care, thus limiting school absences, making things easier on parents who don’t have to scramble to get kids to appointments, and reducing transportation barriers.

The nine Technical Assistance Grants, valued at approximately $50,000, were issued immediately so schools can implement the Healthy Minds Partnership in the 2020-21 academic year.

The Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health continues to invest in resources that help address youth behavioral health, a growing concern in Idaho and in the United States. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will have, a serious mental illness. CDC research indicates 1 out of 7 children ages 2-8 are reported to have a diagnosed mental, behavioral or developmental disorder.

The Foundation has provided the technical assistance awards each of the past two years, helping four schools in Eastern Idaho and several schools in Nampa. Some of the students who received behavioral health services at the schools showed an improvement in GPA and attendance, prompting the school districts to offer the Healthy Minds Partnership in additional schools.

“We see youth behavioral health as one of Idaho’s most-pressing health needs,” said Kendra Witt-Doyle, Executive Director of the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. “The Healthy Minds Partnership ensures that Idaho children receive the services they need so they can focus on learning.”

The nine schools receiving Technical Assistance Awards are:

  • American Falls High School (American Falls)
  • Glenns Ferry K12 (Glenns Ferry)
  • Homedale High School (Homedale)
  • Homedale Middle School (Homedale)
  • Heyburn Elementary School (St. Maries)
  • UpRiver Elementary (St. Maries)
  • Bickel Elementary School (Twin Falls)
  • Canyon Ridge High School (Twin Falls)
  • IB Perrine Elementary School (Twin Falls)