Gem State Roundup

State of Idaho opens an adolescent psychiatric hospital in Nampa

By: - May 10, 2021 12:25 pm
Exterior of State Hospital West psychiatric hospital for adolescents in Nampa

The new State Hospital West opened in Nampa on May 10. It will provide inpatient behavioral health care for Idahoans age 12 to 17. (Courtesy of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare)

Idaho teens will now be able to get treatment for psychiatric and behavioral health needs at a new facility in Nampa.

The Department of Health and Welfare on Monday announced the opening of State Hospital West, on the campus of the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa.

The hospital will offer “more intensive comprehensive behavioral health services” than adolescents can receive at other local facilities, the department said in a news release.

A staff of 51 will provide around-the-clock care for up to 16 patients at a time, between the ages of 12 and 17, the department said.

The hospital won’t add to the state’s inpatient mental health care capacity for adolescents; it will make that care easier on the children and their families, the department said. The beds are being moved to Nampa from a 16-bed adolescent unit at State Hospital South, in Blackfoot, so that unit can be converted to a “high-risk adult unit” for people who are under mental health commitment, the department said.

Many of the adolescents who need this treatment are from the Treasure Valley area, “and moving the hospital closer to their families will provide better and more consistent support because their families won’t have to travel so far to see them,” said Health and Welfare Public Information Manager Niki Forbing-Orr.

“Typically, these youth have a need for a high level of care, higher than they can find in the community – they may be a danger to themselves and others – and this is what this facility is for, to help those youth,” Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said in the news release. “To give them a safe place that is geared towards them and helps them to be successful.”

Parents in need of services for their adolescents can call the Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1 in Idaho.

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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Dutton hails from Twin Falls. She attended college at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, radio journalism, data visualization and much more. Her resume also includes fellowships from the Association of Health Care Journalists, Idaho Press Club, Idaho Media Initiative and Investigative Reporters and Editors. Dutton also teaches an upper-division journalism course at Boise State University. She resides in Boise with her husband, young daughter and two cats.