Troubling Data Trends on Youth Behavioral Health in Southwest Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Troubling Data Trends on Youth Behavioral Health in Southwest Idaho

CALDWELL, IDAHO – Data showing troubling trends amongst youth behavioral health were shared by Southwest District Health (SWDH) Director, Nikole Zogg, and SWDH Senior Data Analyst, Rachel Pollreis, during the Board of Health meeting held Tuesday, August 24. Information presented to Board members included behavioral health trends, data, current program updates, and the future of behavioral health initiatives in Idaho with an emphasis on youth behavioral health in the Southwest Idaho area. Concerns about the potential behavioral health impacts to youth throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a concern voiced by current board members and members of the public in recent months. 

The full presentation may be found in the August 24, 2021 Board of Health Meeting Packet. Data highlights from the presentation titled Domestic Violence, Self-Harm, and Abuse Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Wellbeing, are as follows: 

  • 10x as many abuse-related injuries in SWDH’s six-county region reported in 2020 relative to 2019. These are small numbers, going from 1 to 10; however, we know many cases go unreported. 90% of reports in 2020 were among children under the age of 20 years. 
  • 25% increase in the number of intentional self-harm injuries among children and adults treated in Idaho hospitals from 2019 to 2020. 
  • Increase in rate of domestic violence victims requiring medical attention in Canyon County. 
  • Thus far, in 2021, the number of people seeking resources from Advocates Against Family Violence has nearly matched 2020.  
  • The number of unhoused people seeking resources from Advocates Against Family Violence doubled in the first five months of 2021 relative to 2020 (12 months).  

“The data are showing us that youth are being significantly impacted by the events that have transpired over the last 24 months. While we cannot change the events of the past, we can build better support systems that equip our youth with tools necessary to develop into thriving young adults. Access to prevention and treatment resources are limited in many of our rural areas and fragmented across our community. We can do better. With the support of the Board of Health, Southwest District Health is committing to engage community partners to fill these gaps, build resiliency, and help our upcoming generations achieve better health.” Said Nikki Zogg, District Director. 

Board members also heard updates on the Idaho Behavioral Health Council Strategic Plan, presented by Gene Petty, Third Judicial District Court Judge and the SWDH Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) and Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting programs, which are designed to build resilience among young families in our community.  Parents as Teachers is a free program available to families living in Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties. Parents as Teachers helps guide parents through early learning stages and gives them tools for success. Nurse Family Partnership provides eligible first-time Canyon County moms with access to home visiting nurses and helps transform lives. Ongoing home visits from registered nurses provide these first-time moms with the care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy, tools to provide responsible and competent care for their children, and resources to become economically self-sufficient.  

For adults 18 years and older experiencing mental health and/or substance use crises, thWestern Idaho Community Crisis Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for walk-in and telehealth services. The center provides immediate, compassionate care, resources to promote recovery, and first steps to stability. The center may be reached at 208-402-1044 or visit in-person at 524 Cleveland Blvd., Suite 160, Caldwell, ID 83605. 

The SWDH Board of Health meetings are held monthly and live-streamed via YouTube for public viewing. The meeting recordings are also hosted and available for later viewing at www.youtube.com/southwestdistricthealth. The presentations and board proceedings may be viewed at any time.

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Media Contacts: 

Ashley Anderson           Ashley.Anderson@phd3.idaho.gov
Katrina Williams            Katrina.Williams@phd3.idaho.gov

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