New Grant Educating Physicians About Mental Illnesses in Youth


By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Cambia Health Solutions is comprised of twenty companies striving to be a catalyst to transform health care.

In that quest the foundation has awarded 1.3 million dollars to Idaho charitable causes and organizations.

Cambia is giving over 130,000 dollars to St. Luke's Magic Valley with one goal in mind... to help primary care physicians evaluate, diagnose and treat mental illnesses in adolescents.

"Nationwide the top three causes of deaths in our adolescents are accidents, suicide and homicide. When you look at suicide in particular, Idaho is one of the top states in the nation in terms of teen suicide. Seventy–five percent of mental health issues currently in adolescents are cared for in the primary care realm. It makes a lot of sense to help primary care physicians do as good a job as possible," explained Dr. Steven Coats, Family Physician, St. Luke’s Magic Valley.
Dr. Peter Jensen of the REACH Institute, a non–profit group out of New York City, will be collaborating with primary care physicians at St. Luke's to help them better identify and manage children and families that have mental health conditions.

"One in five children by the time they're 18–years old will have at least one identified mental health diagnosis," according to Dr. Samuel Pullen, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, St. Luke’s Magic Valley.

That's 20 percent of the population, and 75 percent of those children present to their family care physician.

If left untreated mental health issues can create several challenges for children.

"If you don't deal with mental health one they have trouble learning in school, two it leads to other chronic conditions, sometimes alcohol abuse and other things," said Scott Kreiling, President, Regence Blue Shield of Idaho.

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