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Volume 3, Issue 1
                            May 2014 
What is NAMI Idaho?

NAMI Idaho is an independent state Organization associated with the NAMI national nonprofit corporation based in Arlington, VA. The work of the State organization is to focus on State-wide issues relating to mental health and to be supportive of Idaho's local NAMI affiliates.  In turn, each local affiliate focuses on the education of, and support and services to persons living with mental illness and their families.

In the past, areas that NAMI Idaho has worked on have been: 1) advocating at our State legislature for better services for and treatment of  persons living with a mental illness, 2) promoting and working with local law enforcement agencies to provide Crisis Intervention Team training and 3) providing train the trainer opportunities for local affiliates.

If there are other areas that you would like to see NAMI Idaho focus on, please feel free to contact us at namiidaho@yahoo.com.

2014 Legislative Update


In preparation for the start of the 2014 legislative session, NAMI Idaho's Board of Directors decided to focus the following key issues:

  • Creation of behavioral health community crisis centers 
  • Behavioral health transformation legislation 
  • Medicaid redesign and expansion
  • Restoration of dental care to services covered by Medicaid

Board members spent January 27 and 28th visiting with over 35 key legislators and delivering NAMI's message:  Idaho's mental health care system is broken and requires to be redesigned and adequately funded to provide better access to quality care for individuals living with mental illness. 


Throughout the session, NAMI Idaho Board members Kathie Garret and Kathy Mercer were able to attend most Committee hearings were Rules and Legislation was being discussed that would have an impact on the lives of people living with mental illness.  On the issues that NAMI Idaho had taken a position either in favor or opposition, testimony was provided to the Committee and letters were written to all Legislators.


Several key pieces of Legislation passed this year:




Amends existing law to provide dental services for adult participants with disabilities or special health needs including people with mental illness. This legislation restores cuts to Medicaid made during the 2011 Legislative Session in House Bill 260. 


S 1224a Behavioral Health Transformation


The intent of this legislation is to make changes to the Behavioral Health System of Care (BHSC) in Idaho. This legislation will better describe the role of the State Behavioral Health Authority, DHW's Behavioral Health Division, and correctly describe the role of the Regional Mental Health programs. First, the Legislation integrates the substance abuse and mental health systems. Second, it allows local communities to have more influence over the BHSC. Third, it clearly articulates the roles of system partners, public agencies, and Branches of Government. Fourth, it creates a BHSC that is recovery oriented and consumer driven. This legislation will integrate the Regional Advisory Committees (advisory to the substance abuse  system) and the Regional Mental Health Boards (advisory to the mental health system) into a single entity, called the Regional Behavioral Health Board (RBHB), which can accept responsibility for  the support services missing from our current system described above. It will expand the State Behavioral Health on Mental Health to be the State Planning Council on Substance Abuse.


S 1352 Behavioral Health


This Legislation adds to existing law to establish Behavioral Health Community Crisis Centers and to provide for governance, evaluation and funding for crisis centers. While the Legislature passed this Bill, they still have a lot of questions and concerns about them. The bill proposed building three, but the Legislature only funded one. 


 S 1362 Loan Repayment


This Legislation adds to existing law to establish a loan repayment program for physicians, psychologists and mid-level practitioners at certain state hospitals.


Kathie Garrett, Chair

NAMI Idaho Public Policy and Advocacy Committee





How to find a Good Mental Health Counselor

By: Stan Popovich
Many people have a difficult time in finding an effective mental health counselor. Just like everything in life, you have your good counselors and you have your not so great counselors. The key is to find one that will help you solve your current mental health problems. If you do not know what you are looking for or where to start, then here are a few ideas in how to find a good mental health counselor.
1. Talk To Your Doctor Or Primary Care Physician 
Your medical or family doctor is a great source in finding a good counselor. Explain to your doctor your problems and he or she can put you in the right direction in seeking the proper help.
2. Go To Your Local Hospital 
Your local hospital is another source you can use to find a good counselor. A hospital is also a good source of finding many different mental health programs in your area. Hospitals know a lot of good counselors and programs in your area and they can lead you in the right direction.
3. Ask Your Friends And Relatives 
Use your network of friends and relatives to see if any of them know of any good counselors in your area. This can be effective if it does not bother you that other people know that you are seeking a counselor. Many churches and nonprofit mental health agencies have a variety of mental health programs and asking the people who run these programs could also lead you in the right direction.

When asking for a counselor or finding a mental health program, always ask for someone who has a good reputation. Remember that finding a counselor to help you depends on how you interact with the counselor and how they interact with you. It may take a couple of times to find the right person, but do not give up. Finding a good counselor will pay off for you in the long run, so be persistent in finding the right person for you.
Remember that the key components of having an effective mental health counselor is affordability, the ability to effectively talk to your counselor, and most importantly, is your counselor able to find the answers to your current problems. If you do not see any improvement in your mental health condition after a couple of months of working with your current counselor, you may want to find someone else. The main point of talking to a counselor is to help manage your mental health issues and to get better.
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods". Stan's managing fear book has become very popular with over 300 positive book reviews and counting. Please read the many book reviews of Stan's popular book by going to Stan's website athttp://www.managingfear.com/


Join NAMI|Idaho
ecome a member of NAMI, NAMI Idaho and your local affiliate 






                                 City, State, Zip __________________________________________


                                 Phone ____________________________





My local NAMI Affiliate is____________________________________


Membership Type (Check One)

____ Individual/Family Membership ($35 Annual Dues.)

____ Open Door Membership ($3 Annual Dues.)

  (Full membership for individuals and/or families on limited income. )           

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 Optional Information:

I am:    ___An Individual Living with Mental Illness 

   ___A Family Member

   ___A Friend

   ___A Mental Health Professional

   ___Other ___________________


Print Application and mail with check payable to NAMI Idaho to: 


Treasurer, NAMI Idaho * 1985 E. 25th Street * Idaho Falls, ID 83404



NAMI Idaho is a 501(c)(3) corporation