Mental Health Coalition of Teton Valley: $2,500
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley was honored to award this $2,500 grant to the Mental Health Coalition of Teton Valley (MHCTV) to create an online Regional Resource Guide to help Valley residents who need specialized mental health care. The Foundation strongly supports the creation of this up-to-date, vetted guide that will provide 24-hour, digital referral assistance to connect mental health professionals to Valley residents with specialized needs.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention consistently reports suicide as the 2nd leading cause of death for Idahoans between the ages of 10-44. Recently released data by the CDC reports that one in three girls seriously considered attempting suicide in 2021. This is an ongoing crisis. The Coalition feels the impact of this crisis every day as unprecedented numbers of people contact MHC TV for help. Their Case Manager worked with 280 people in 2022 (an average of 23 people a month), and the organization has already served 60 people in the first 45 days of this year. Additionally, it provided 259 free counseling sessions to community members over the course of last year.
To help keep pace with the growing need, MHCTV added seven new mental health providers to its network, but there are still serious gaps in services locally. Community members needing specialized, intensive, or in-patient mental health care must look outside the Valley to meet their needs. These types of referrals are constantly requested and are the hardest to provide. Yet, quick access to proper care is lifesaving in times of mental health crisis. The Coalition’s ability to efficiently deliver these referrals requires maintaining a constantly updated list of providers’ efficacy and areas of expertise.
Since 2009, the Coalition and its partners have tried to keep such a regional resource guide. However, it’s a burdensome task, and referral lists are currently outdated. No single entity has been able to keep a comprehensive guide. Hospital personnel report they do not have an up-to-date referral list and support MHCTV’s efforts to fill this gap. A local high school counselor says, “I am always struggling to find places to refer kids when they need services we don’t have in our Valley. A vetted regional resource guide would be so helpful for me and my students.”
Changing personnel at local institutions compounds this problem. Those changes require working relationships to be rebuilt, and knowledge is lost. Both cause disruptions in the referral process. Teton Valley is rapidly growing and needs an up-to-date Regional Resource Guide that can be maintained beyond staff and institutional changes. After much internal discussion, the Coalition can now focus time and resources to fulfill this urgent need, both for its efficacy and that of its local partners. MHCTV envisions a community where everyone is connected to love and care. Creating this guide will move the Coalition closer to ensuring all valley residents get the care they need when needed.
The Community Foundation grant will support, in part, the creation of a digital, printable Regional Resource Guide by the end of the first quarter of 2024. This guide will include thoroughly vetted clinicians and facilities that can provide regional mental health services. The guide will be a living document hosted on MHCTV’s website so community members, their families, and school and emergency personnel have 24-hour access to this critical information.
The Community Foundation commends the vital work of the Mental Health Coalition of Teton Valley to provide an accurate and accessible resource that addresses Teton Valley residents’ specific mental health needs.