Cambia donates $1.3-million to help meet Idaho mental health needs

Cambia Health Solutions donated a total of $1.3-million to four local non-profits to help meet the urgent mental and behavioral health needs in Idaho’s rural communities that have become intensified by COVID-19. Idaho Primary Care Association, NAMI Idaho, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline and Empower Idaho are the donation recipients and will work together to strengthen mental health support for Idaho’s rural population.

The largest portion of this donation went to the Idaho Primary Care Association (IPCA), the non-profit association group for Idaho’s community health centers. A $1-million donation from Cambia Health Solutions will allow Idaho’s community health centers to expand behavioral health access to Idaho’s rural communities. IPCA will utilize the funds to support Idaho’s community health centers in 52 communities in these three key areas:

  • Expand access to mental health services
  • Increase long-term capacity through workforce development
  • Improve public perception/stigma around mental health issues and accessing services

“This donation addresses an urgent need in rural Idaho. All of Idaho’s community health centers serve rural populations and, in many cases, they are the only access point for medical, dental and behavioral health services,” said Yvonne Ketchum-Ward, CEO of the Idaho Primary Care Association. “The donation will support community health centers’ longstanding mission of providing mental health services to all Idahoans’ regardless of income or ability to pay.”

NAMI Idaho, another donation recipient, will focus on Idahoans’ mental wellness across the entire state, especially in underserved and rural areas. Through a $145,700 donation, NAMI will be hiring staff to grow an existing peer support network within its six local affiliates.

“When the pandemic arrived, NAMI Idaho organized our six local affiliates to provide stable virtual support during these unstable times for individuals and their family members that are faced with mental health challenges. This grant will allow us to grow further and strengthen this support network, and we are profoundly grateful to be able to do this good work,” said Christina Cernansky, Board President of NAMI Idaho.

This donation will include the following staffing additions:

  • A peer coordinator for our youth and college outreach
  • A coordinator for engaging with law enforcement to support Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) trainings in all seven regions
  • A staff person to manage marketing, operations, and administration

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline provides 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention support to individuals in every Idaho county through phone, text and web chat. Idaho has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation, ranking fifth among all states. With a population of 1.7 million and an area of 83,569 square miles, Idaho is the 14th largest state and is predominantly rural. Access to behavioral health care is often challenging due to long driving distances and a shortage of providers.

A $100,000 donation from Cambia Health Solutions will enable the Hotline to:

  • Increase access in rural communities through a digital marketing campaign and public service announcements.
  • Promote messages that reduce the stigma associated with asking for help.
  • Partner with organizations that are influential messengers in rural communities.

Empower Idaho is set to work with partners statewide to address social determinants of health, such as housing, in support of vulnerable Idahoans in rural communities thanks to a $100,000 donation from Cambia Health Solutions.

“Cambia Health Solutions’ generous donation will help organizations like Empower Idaho to support and lift up Idahoans living with a mental health condition. In addition to addressing social determinants of health, the donation will expand Empower Idaho’s reach in connecting rural Idahoans with education, resources, and advocacy aimed at creating and maintaining mental wellness,” said Empower Idaho Director Katrina Hoff

These four non-profits are honored to receive Cambia Health Solutions’ $1.3 million donation to launch this program for rural mental health. This donation is part of a larger $11.5 million investment throughout Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington to help meet the urgent mental and behavioral health needs intensified by COVID-19 in local rural communities.