From DHW Director Dave Jeppesen: Grand opening this week brings crucial mental healthcare for children and youth with complex needs

August 11, 2023
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

I had the great honor yesterday to attend the ribbon cutting and grand opening of a beautiful new facility that’s going to make a difference for thousands of Idaho children in the years to come.

The Residential Center for Healing & Resilience, built and operated by the Idaho Youth Ranch, is located north of Caldwell and will serve children with complex mental health needs. The facility will provide children with inpatient psychiatric services that haven’t been offered in Idaho for a long time.

More than 100 community partners attended the grand opening under clear-blue skies and cheered as a ceremonial ribbon was cut, then toured the facility’s 10-building campus.

Located on 258 acres, it includes a welcome center, therapy and wellness facility, charter school, recreation center, kitchen and cafeteria, four residential lodges, and an equine center. The center will admit eight additional young people each month until it reaches its capacity of 64 in eight months.

“To see this remarkable dream come true—today is a day to say hooray,” said Idaho Youth Ranch Board Chair Sheila Hennessey.

The Residential Center for Healing & Resilience is one of three psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs) that Idaho helped fund through $15 million made available by Gov. Brad Little and the Idaho Legislature in 2022.

The Department of Health and Welfare awarded grants to three partners that will serve different regions in Idaho. They are the Idaho Youth Ranch in southwest Idaho, Northwest Children’s Home in north Idaho, and Jackson House in east Idaho.

This level of mental healthcare hasn’t existed in Idaho, so these three facilities are filling a critical gap in our continuum of care for children and youth. Previously, about 100 kids were getting treatment in other states because we didn’t have these services available in Idaho. Now many of these kids will be able to stay in Idaho and close to their families.

I’m thrilled the state could help make this project happen, and I’m confident these three partnerships will further our ability to serve children with complex mental health diagnoses and help reduce the number of children who need to leave the state for care we didn’t offer.

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