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July 20, 2017

Recovery Month 2017 Activities

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The Division of Behavioral Health is getting ready for our 2nd Annual Recovery Month Awards and Proclamation celebration!  Substance Use Disorders touch everyone’s lives; whether you are in recovery, struggle with recovery, or care about someone who has struggled with recovery you are familiar with the devastation it can cause.  Our annual event is meant to celebrate recovery and help people see they can overcome their struggles. 

Join us at the Idaho State Capitol on September 1, 2017 to hear empowering speakers, recognize award recipients throughout the state, and see Lieutenant Governor Brad Little present the 2017 Recovery Month Proclamation.

When: September 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Where: Idaho State Capitol, Lincoln Auditorium

Interested in having your recovery-oriented stories, poems, photography, or other art on display in the Idaho State Capitol and on the Behavioral Events website?  Click on the links below or contact Nicole Tuffield at

Art Display Poster

Art Display Release Form

Do you know someone who is living in recovery who has been an inspiration to those around them? Nominate them for the 2nd Annual Recovery Month Awards presented by the Division of Behavioral Health. 

Nominations will only be accepted from the Regional Behavioral Health Boards (RBHB).  If you would like to nominate someone, please contact your local RBHB. Find your local RBHB by clicking HERE.

Each region can nominate two (2) individuals to be considered for the following awards:  

Idaho Champion of Recovery Award – one person will be selected as the overall Idaho Champion of Recovery.  DBH will  provide transportation (and lodging, if necessary) for the Idaho Champion of Recovery recipient to attend the Idaho Recovery Month presentation at the State Capitol and receive their award. 

Regional Advocate for Recovery Award – one person from each region will be selected for the Advocate for Recovery Award.  These recipients will receive a plaque recognizing them for the work they have done in their community.  A member of the Division of Behavioral Health will present the award at the local RBHB meeting. 

Honorable Mention Award – six people will receive an Honorable Mention Award.  These recipients will receive a framed certificate recognizing them for the work they have done in their community.  A member of the Division of Behavioral Health will present the award at the local RBHB meeting.

Recipient criteria:

  • Idaho resident
  • Person living in recovery

Recovery Month Award Nomination Form

Please contact Crystal Campbell at if you have any questions.


Behavioral Health Events Calendar

NOTE: Please use the form below the calendar to submit any Behavioral Health events in your area for consideration for addition to our calendar.
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Submit an Event for the Calendar

Use the form below to submit an event for consideration for addition to the calendar. All events will be evaluated before addition to the calendar. To be added, events must be related to behavioral health and take place in the state of Idaho. Events that are not deemed to be appropriate for the calendar will not be added.


Past Events


Mental Health Awareness Month - May 2017 Activities

The Mental Health Awareness event on May 11, 2017 was held in the Lincoln Auditorium at the Idaho State Capitol.  At the event:

  • Lt. Governor Brad Little signed and presented the 2017 Mental Health Awareness Month Proclamation.
  • Eric Walton, Melissa Freese, and Will Browning discussed how mental health and suicide has affected their lives. 
  • Ross Edmunds, Administrator of the Division of Behavioral Health presented Lisa Koller with the first ever Voice of Idaho award.  
  • Lisa Koller spoke of her path to becoming the 2017 Voice of Idaho.

Select "Speakers" below to see bio's and additional information about the speakers.

Click here to watch the recorded event. 

Click here for coverage by the Idaho Statesman.​

Click here to see the Regional Award presentation.

Lieutenant Governor Brad Little

Brad Little is Idaho’s 37th Lieutenant Governor.  

A native of Emmett in Gem County, Little is a third-generation Idahoan.  He has dedicated his life and career to continuing both his family’s ranching interests and its history of service to the people of Idaho.  

Little’s personal philosophy has been consistent throughout his career: to ensure the lightest possible hand of government in the lives of citizens and businesses alike.  A successful businessman himself as the head of Little Enterprises, Inc. (a diversified farming and cattle operation), Little is a former chairman of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI), the Idaho Wool Growers Association, and former vice-chairman of the Idaho Community Foundation.  He currently serves on the board of directors Performance Design Incorporated -- a small Boise-based manufacturing company.  

In his personal life, Little married Weiser native Teresa Soulen in May 1978.  They have two sons and daughters-in-law, Adam and Angela, David and Kelsey, and five grandchildren. 

Ross Edmunds

Ross is the Administrator for the Division of Behavioral Health at the Department of Health and Welfare.  In this role Ross oversees the outpatient mental health and substance use disorders treatment system in Idaho, as well as the operations of the two state psychiatric hospitals. 

Eric Walton

Eric Walton is a seventeen-year-old student at Sage International School of Boise. He enjoys reading books, writing books, watching television, playing games, volunteering and spending time with his friends. He values honesty, compassion and joyfulness. He also has Bipolar Disorder, a neurological condition that, when untreated, causes him to go from mania to depression rather quickly. When treated, he’s like any other normal teenager—other than what he calls his “incredibly nerdy tendencies.” He’s a major fan of Star Trek, Dr. Who, Star Wars—you get the picture. His favorite books include Dune, Lord of the Rings, Ender’s Game, and of course his own. He is currently the Chair of Youth MOVE (Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience) Boise, a group dedicated to reducing stigma and providing support to youth with mental illness.

See Eric's TEDx here.

Melissa Freese

Melissa is a 1994 graduate of Boise State University where she earned her teaching degree.  Melissa worked for the Meridian School District for 5 years until she decided to stay home with her four children.  She has recently started teaching again.  

Melissa lost her beautiful daughter Camille to suicide in 2014.  Melissa says she “has a heart for teens who struggle with mental illness and self-harm.” 

She enjoys spending time at the YMCA, going on dates with her husband of 23 years, spending holidays with her family, decorating cakes, leading groups with her husband, and walking her goldendoodle.

Will Browning

Will Browning grew up in Westchester County, north of New York City. He played the piano from an early age, and still enjoys tickling the ivories with friends. Will attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire for his B.A. degree, specializing in history and languages, and spending a tremendously rewarding spring term in France.

He went on to earn an M.A. in Teaching French and ESL from the School for International Training in Vermont, and then a Doctor of Modern Languages degree in French and Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont. He spent nine months in Madrid, Spain, studying Spanish language, literature, and culture, and then nine months in Paris, France, focusing on French language, literature, and culture, both via Middlebury's Language Schools Abroad.

In 1994, Will arrived in Boise to teach languages for a year as a lecturer at Boise State University and a year at the College of Idaho. From 1996 to 2011, he taught Spanish and French at BSU, becoming a full professor responsible for teaching, researc​h, and service. Will published three French-English literary translations of novels from Québec, Canada, during his tenure at BSU. He still teaches Conversational Spanish annually in BSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. 

Will now primarily works as a Spanish and French interpreter in the Treasure Valley at many medical clinics, and in community mental health services with All Together Now of Boise. 

Will has two children, a son age 24 and a daughter age 17. Both are interested in music, languages, and teaching, among many things.


Ryan is a young adult with a Bachelor's degree from Boise State University. He currently works part-time and pursues his creative passions in music and writing. Ryan received his first mental health diagnosis at the age of 7, and has experienced many trials to get to where he is today. Ryan likens recovery to backpacking in the wilderness and never knowing what the journey has in store for him. For Ryan, personal growth means learning to accept life's unpredictability.


The Division of Behavioral Health is recognizing the following recipients of the 2017 Mental Health Awareness Awards.  Each of the recipients are pillars in the community and have worked hard to reduce stigma around behavioral health as well as working in the community to inspire hope, recovery, and resiliency.  Congratulations to all of our winners!

Voice of Idaho Award

Lisa Koller, Idaho Falls

"Lisa is truly an example of living generously and selflessy.  To say that she is an advocate would be an understatement."

Division of Behavioral Health Administrator Ross Edmunds will present Lisa with her award on May 11 at the Idaho State Capitol. See information above for details to attend.

Lisa will also be recognized for her award at the Region 7 Behavioral Health Board meeting on May 19, 2017.

Click here to read Lisa's story in the DHW blog.





Regional Empowerment Awards

Bert Fiskum, Caldwell

Bert shares "...his poetic gift by giving hand written notes of encouragement or verbal expression he passes on to ease their day to day struggle of mental illness and giving them hope."

Bert will receive his award at the Region 3 Behavioral Health Board meeting on May 24, 2017.




Beth Patzer, Lewiston

"She demonstrates a life filled with service to the citizens of Idaho."

Beth will receive her award at the Region 2 Behavioral Health Board Meeting on May 11, 2017.






Desirae Dade, Twin Falls

"Her hard work and dedication...enables people to find their path to recovery with fewer stumbling blocks."

Desirae will receive her award at the Region 5 Behavioral Health Board meeting on May 10, 2017.






Logan Zuck, Idaho Falls

"Logan began breaking the stigma of mental illness when he was still in high school.  He is a tireless representative of those with mental illness in our communities and his message has changed the perspective of mental illness for many citizens in Idaho."

Logan will receive his award at the Region 7 Behavioral Health Board meeting on May 19, 2017.


Michelle McMillan, Boise

"Michelle has been very active in advocating for people living with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders in the local Boise community."

Michelle will receive her award at the Region 4 Behavioral Health Board Meeting on May 11, 2017.

Mindy Leager, Coeur d'Alene

"She inspires hope, recovery and, most of all, resiliency in respect to what she does for her community."

Mindy will receive her award at the Region 1 Behavioral Health Board Meeting on May 3, 2017.






Honorable Mention

Curtis O'Daniel, Boise

"Curtis is an influencing force for courage, hope, inspiration, and resiliency for those he works with."

Curtis will receive his award at the Region 4 Behavioral Health Board Meeting on May 11, 2017.


Eve Pike, Caldwell

Eve is working with the Division of Behavioral Health in "...assisting and developing the content, structure, and frequency" of groups for people with mental health challenges.

Eve will receive her award at the Region 3 Behavioral Health Board meeting on May 24, 2017.







Joy Fryman, Coeur d'Alene

"Joy is an inspiration to all of us.  She works with the Kootenai Recovery Center, offering encouragement and support to all that enter."

Joy will receive her award at the Region 1 Behavioral Health Board Meeting on May 3, 2017.

Click the links below for a message from Joy:

Part 1  Part 2





2016 National Recovery Month Events

Darrell Keim was selected as this years Idaho Champion of Recovery.  Darrell is the Director of the Latah Recovery Center and has been a valuable asset to the community.  Darrell was nominated by the Region 2 Behavioral Health Board, who said Darrell has been, "...the force behind the development, formation and realization of the Latah Recovery Center."

Darrell has been a key player since the concept of the Latah recovery center was developed and has been the "face of the recovery community in our rural college community."  To gain support, Darrell organized a panel including individuals in recovery, a district judge, and organizational leaders from the community.  After the Latah Recovery Center opened in September 2015, Darrell became the Director.  He has built relationships throughout the community and is active in recruiting and training volunteers.  

Darrell has also been successful in using Quality of Life, Assessment of Recovery, and Wellness Self-Assessment tools as ways to manage the success of the center.  

According to the Region 2 Behavioral Health Board, "Darrell works tirelessly on the Recovery process.  As a result of his efforts the Latah Recovery Center is a well respected member of the community in Moscow."


September is Recovery Awareness month and great activities will be happening across the country.  This year’s theme is “Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!” Please join us on September 8 at 10:30 at the Idaho State Capitol as Lt. Governor Brad Little presents a proclamation declaring September as recovery awareness month. There will be a recovery-oriented art display and people speaking about recovery. We will be presenting an award to Idaho’s very first Champion of Recovery and recognize seven Advocates for Recovery from across the state. 

This event will be held in the Lincoln Auditorium at the Idaho State Capitol.  Presentations begin at 10:30 am (MT).  For more information please contact Crystal Campbell at

For streaming of the event, please click here and select the Lincoln Auditorium.