NAMPA, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) announced Monday the opening of State Hospital West, a facility where youth ages 12 to 17 can receive more comprehensive behavioral health services. SHW is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is located on the grounds of the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center in Nampa.
A news release says the facility will provide treatment for up to 16 adolescents at a time and employ 51 people. SHW is designed to be self-contained and all education, meals, recreation and lodging are in the facility and on the grounds.
“We want families and kids to feel comfortable being here,” Hospital Administrator Gina Westcott said.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have this new facility in Nampa and serve Idaho’s most vulnerable youth population. The children who will live in this residency will get the opportunity for much-needed care and proper treatment,” said Sen. Jeff Agenbroad, R-Nampa. “The Nampa community has a rich history of serving people in need, starting more than a century ago with the Idaho State School and Hospital. I am proud of our city for being a place this particular population can feel at home and for helping with all the good work being done.”
Before this facility, adolescents who needed this level of care were treated at a unit at State Hospital South in Blackfoot. The release says the unit will be converted to a high-risk adult unit for those who are committed to the state.
Most of the youth at State Hospital South had family and other support in the Treasure Valley area, and IDHW says the location of SHW is expected to make it easier for families to support their kids during a critical and challenging time.
“The Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans -- that’s why we exist. This new facility is one of the tangible ways that we deliver on that mission,” said DHW Director Dave Jeppesen. “As you know, this is a facility for 12-17-year-old youth who have psychiatric conditions. 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. To give them a safe place that is geared towards them and helps them to be successful.”
“That's what we want parents to know, is that we’re here for them. We’re here for the kids and during the time we have them, we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure their stay here is good,” Westcott said.
Parents of those between 12 and 17 who are looking for help can call the Idaho CareLine by dialing 211 in Idaho. 211 is a statewide community information and referral service and is a program of DHW. The database includes programs that offer free or low-cost health and human services or social services, like rental assistance, medical assistance, food and clothing.