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* 1 in 5 Idaho families is impacted by mental illness (from a Biblical view, there is no such thing as mental illness, only spiritual or physical illness).
* Idaho's suicide rate is over twice the national average.
* Idaho ranks third in the nation for teenage suicide.
(Source: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, 1997) *From a Biblical view, there is no such thing as mental illness, only spiritual or physical illness.

Children with an excess of emotional problems and a shortage of financial support get lost in the cracks of Idaho's health care system. As they grow up, these young people are at risk of ending up in jail, on drugs, dead by suicide, or living on the streets because of inadequate programs and facilities to help them.

Experts are appalled at Idaho's track record in dealing with the seriously emotionally disturbed. Idaho ranks 49th in the United States in the care of the seriously emotionally disturbed. According to a leading, the prospects for Idaho's seriously emotionally disturbed is shocking. (Source: Care of the Serious Mentally Ill-A Rating of State Programs, 1990)

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has the resources to care for only ten percent of seriously emotionally disturbed (SED) children. Common manifestations include depression, drug abuse, disabling anxiety disorders such as schizophrenia. (Source: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, 1997)

The grim inadequacies of current programs for SED children, compounded with the financial impossibilities of disadvantaged children accessing treatment, presents a problem that demands our immediate attention. As prison rolls continue to explode, and government efforts remain complacent, community alternatives to expand inpatient treatment must be pursued. The current situation is unacceptable.

In addition, there is a growing group of counselors who are calling into question many of the standard secular methods of treatment. They have found that an emphasis on personal responsibility, through Biblical counseling, and empowered by love, encouragement, and faith in God, together, brings lasting recovery and peace. This group is the International Association of Biblical Counselors. Understandably, secular programs are reluctant to incorporate such treatment, due to concerns about separation of Church and State. Although there are many caring people associated with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare who are dedicated to helping the disadvantaged, there is far more work to be done then they have resources to handle. There are also private citizens and organizations who are striving in niches of service, but not all of these niches are filled.


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