Behavioral Health


Drug Overdose Deaths


Drug Overdose Deaths per 100,000 


Suicide Deaths


Average Years of Potential Life Lost per Suicide Death

Behavioral health is a term that encompasses both mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Both mental health and substance use issues can significantly affect a person’s thinking, feelings and mood – impacting their ability to relate to others and function each day. Untreated, behavioral health conditions can also contribute to physical health problems, financial and job stability difficulties, encounters with law enforcement, emergency hospitalization and even death. (1, 2, 3, 4)

Some of the most commonly known mental health diagnoses include anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and depression. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental health condition most commonly diagnosed in children. Among Americans 12 and over in 2018, about 20.3 million had a substance use disorder related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs in the previous year. (5)

When a person struggles with both a mental illness and substance use disorder, it is called a co-occurring disorder. In 2018, it was estimated about 1.5 percent of American adolescents had a Major Depressive Episode and substance use disorder in the previous year. That same year, an estimated 3.7 percent of all adults in the U.S. had a mental illness and substance use disorder affect them in the past year. (5) These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable and many people do recover.

Idaho Division of Behavioral Health initiatives:

Opioid epidemic: In efforts to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic in the Gem State, between May 2017 and April 2021 the Idaho Response to the Opioid Crisis (IROC) program provided funding for 1,474 Idahoans to access opioid use disorder treatment. Beginning in September 2020, this funding was expanded to include the treatment of stimulant use disorder. Initiatives include law enforcement assisted diversion programs that allow people to receive treatment rather than be arrested; distribution of 7,036 doses of the overdose reversal drug Naloxone; a reentry program for women releasing from the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center; partnership with the Idaho Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs to provide prevention education to Idaho’s youth; and increased access to recovery support services statewide.

Crisis: Systems to address behavioral health crises comprehensively are needed nationwide as suicide rates have increased and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that one in eight visits to emergency departments involve a behavioral health issue. With a suicide rate 50 percent higher than the national average, Idaho is developing a new, less fragmented crisis system that will reduce the overreliance on law enforcement and emergency responders and end unnecessary emergency department admissions and jail bookings, resulting in overall state cost savings, improved quality of care and better health outcomes.

Youth Empowerment Services (YES): Mental health is an important part of a child’s overall health and has a complex interactive relationship with their physical health and ability to succeed in many areas of life. Without early diagnosis and treatment, children with mental health needs have symptoms that often interfere with their healthy development and these problems can continue into adulthood. About 1 in 5 children in the U.S. need extra support for their mental health needs; but, many do not know how to access help. Idaho is implementing a new system of care for children’s mental health called Youth Empowerment Services (YES) to support children and families in a timely way. Goals include increasing understanding of mental health needs in children, providing access to quality mental health care, and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment.


If someone is experiencing a behavioral health issue, they can contact one of our regional offices, or dial 911 if it is an emergency. BPA Health can also complete a screening for eligibility options for Substance Use Disorders treatment at 1-800-922-3406.

Find COVID-19 Behavioral Health information here.


  1.  Princeton Public Health Review,   

  2.  National Alliance on Mental Illness,

  3.  Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion,

  4.  CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,

  5. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, pg. 2-3,

  6. Kaiser Family Foundation, Adults Reporting Mental Illness in the Past Year, 2017-2018,

  7. Behavioral Health Barometer Idaho, Volume 5, page 22-23,

  8. Kaiser Family Foundation, Age-Adjusted Suicide Rate, 2018,