Governor’s Report briefs Idaho leaders about behavioral health gaps and needs

March 1, 2024
IDHW Communications

The Division of Behavioral Health at DHW recently published an annual report on behalf of the Idaho Behavioral Health Planning Council, a 21-member governor-appointed council with the mission of advocating for those with behavioral health issues. Called State of Mind, the report details successes and challenges facing behavioral health in Idaho. 

Behavioral Health issues touch the lives of Idahoans in a variety of ways, and the report details the crucial partnerships among the Idaho Office of Drug Policy, Department of Juvenile Corrections, Idaho Department of Correction, and three DHW divisions: Family and Community Services, Medicaid, and Behavioral Health.

The report details a number of ongoing and unique behavioral health challenges for Idaho going into the coming fiscal year: 

Statewide access to treatment providers for mental health and substance use disorders continues to struggle to meet needs of individuals.

  • Behavioral health services for children needs to continue to improve, including prevention and early intervention efforts.
  • Stable housing and accessible transportation is challenging to find for those with mental health and substance use disorder needs.
  • Increased availability of substance use disorder prevention and education initiatives is essential.
  • Peer and caregiver supports such as education, training, and emotional support help promote ongoing recovery.
  • Anti-stigma education and behavioral health awareness events and training should be  held in all regions to help encourage people of all ages with behavioral health needs to seek the care they need.
  • Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement officers, first responders, educators, and the general public can help de-escalate crises and provide connections. 
  • Veterans’ mental health services must expand to address the needs of those who have served and struggle with behavioral health issues. 

We look forward to continued partnerships with the Governor, Legislature, and other state agencies as we continue to work toward a sustainable model for recovery and improve Idaho’s continuum of care.

The report is available here:

The Division of Behavioral Health recently launched a podcast, and the inaugural installment focuses on the Governor’s Report. You can listen to the podcast on YouTube here:

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at 

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