Idaho Falls groundbreaking offers hope for youth mental health services

May 21, 2024
Jessica Divine, Division of Behavioral Health

The groundbreaking for Jackson House in Idaho Falls on May 16 signifies a new era for adolescent mental healthcare in the state. This new Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) will fill a critical need and offers a beacon of hope for families struggling to find quality in-state treatment for their children.

Previously, Idaho lacked sufficient residential options for adolescents with complex mental health needs. This forced families to seek help outside the state.

“It’s exciting to see this type of facility coming to Idaho, but even more exciting to see it come locally to Southeast Idaho,” said Human Services Program Specialist John Hart, who works for the Division of Behavioral Health at DHW. “It’s hard enough for families to have to send their kids to a residential facility, but when they have to also send them out of state that can be especially hard.”

Jackson House is one of three 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 Jackson House in east Idaho, the Idaho Youth Ranch in southwest Idaho, and Northwest Children’s Home in north Idaho.

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

The groundbreaking ceremony in Idaho Falls marked a successful collaboration between Headwaters Construction, Booth Architecture, and the Jackson House team. 

Headwaters pre-construction coordinator Brennon Baker expressed his clear enthusiasm.

“We are really excited for the contribution it’s going to make here to the community,” he said. 

Jackson House CEO Bruce Figuered brings a wealth of experience and a deep personal commitment to the project. His career, spanning nearly 30 years, began as a counselor at an adolescent psychiatric ward. He’s seen the critical need for quality care firsthand.

“They're at a formative time in their life, and you can really have a big impact on their life and their future,” he said. “If you point them in the right direction, you are able to work with their families, and you give them the healthcare they need.”

Jackson House aims to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient services by providing accessible, high-quality residential treatment for adolescents with mental health challenges. Figuered  said he commends Idaho for being one of the few states addressing the need for such facilities. 

Jessica Divine is a technical writer for the Division of Behavioral Health at the Department of Health and Welfare.

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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