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BHC makes changes to help more children with mental health

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – Demand for mental healthcare in youth is on the rise, according to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. This is why its Behavioral Health Center made some adjustments to help meet the needs of children in the area.

According to 2021 data from the CDC, Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the country. Idaho has the 12th highest.

The Adolescent Acute Care Unit has added 12 beds, increasing capacity by almost 50%. There are now 37 beds available to patients.

The minimum age has also been dropped from 13-years-old to 12.

EIRMC and the BHC believe these changes are in the best interest to care for children in the area. It will allow more children to stay close to home to get the support they need, which is important to EIRMC staff. They say being close to home is essential for healing.

Referrals for admission are accepted 24 hours a day. To refer a patient, call (800) 483-4762.

The National Alliance of Mental Health urges parents to take their children's mental health seriously. They encourage parents to talk to their kids, ask questions and understand them.

There are support groups for parents to attend in Eastern Idaho to get a better sense of how to cope with a teen who may struggle with mental illness. Some can be found HERE.

If your teen struggles with mental illness, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988 or visit the Emergency Room when in a crisis.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Kailey Galaviz

Kailey is a reporter and weekend anchor for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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