We're all familiar with the Idaho youth ranch thrift stores. But did you know those stores fund crucial, life saving services for Idaho's youth?
Mellisa Paul: I spoke with Jeff Myers of the Idaho youth ranch so we can all look a little further beyond the thrift. Jeff, it is so good to see you. And I cannot wait to talk about the Idaho Youth Ranch. And when you say Idaho Youth Ranch, I think most people think about the thrift stores. But tell us the full picture of the services that the Idaho Youth Ranch provides.
Jeff Myers: We have the most amazing stores, but it is so much more than that. The Idaho Youth Ranch provides counseling services and therapy to kids all over the state both in person, as well as remotely through video through our tele-mental health services. We also provide outpatient care to Idaho's youth through equine assisted psychotherapy, both in the Treasure Valley and North Idaho. And in Boise, a lot of people don't know. But we also operate the only 24/7 shelter for runaway and homeless youth.
Mellisa Paul: Why are the services that you provide so crucial here in Idaho?
Jeff Myers: Yeah, whose kids are hurting right now. And you know, we don't like to talk about that. I think, because we're so proud of our state, we live in a wonderful area. But we're also one of the leading states in negative issues facing our youth including things like abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. And according to a recent study of high school students in Idaho, one in 10 attempted suicide in the last 12 months. One in five considered suicide. The next time you see a group of kids on the corner, there's five or more students, one in five of those considered suicide and four in 10 felt so depressed, they stopped their usual activities for two or more weeks. Our kids are hurting. And this study was actually pre pandemic. And so while things were exasperated by the pandemic, before it ever happened, these kids were already hurting.
Mellisa Paul: Oh, my goodness, Jeff, that is certainly a wake up call. And I understand to get the services that they need, sometimes these youth need to be sent out of state.
Jeff Myers: For most kids, they can get the help they need through the short term residential or through the outpatient therapy that Idaho Youth Ranch and others provide. But unfortunately for about 120 kids, just those on Medicaid alone, it's not enough for them and they need long term residential. And the answer is there isn't an answer. So those kids are being sent as far away as Florida and Georgia to get the help that they need. And unfortunately, we also know that the long term success for those kids goes down when you can't involve the families in the treatment when you create that additional separation. When you don't have therapist continuity. You just don't get the long term success that we really owe these kids and we need to bring them back home to Idaho to get the help they need.
Mellisa Paul: And Jeff, you're so right it is time to bring Idaho's kids home. So tell us about the groundbreaking of your new building.
Jeff Myers: We are so excited to break ground on the Idaho Youth Ranch Residential Center for healing and resilience. It's time to bring those kids home and in the fall or winter of '22 we'll be opening the new facility and welcoming Idaho's kids back home.
Mellisa Paul: And Jeff, how can people support the Idaho Youth Ranch?
Jeff Myers: youthranch.org and you can give a one time gift or even better sign up for monthly giving. You can give $10 a month or $100, every dollar makes a difference and together we can bring Idaho's kids home and give them the healing and help they need.
DONATE NOW: https://www.youthranch.org/?form=FUNKCPPLDZT
About Idaho Youth Ranch: https://www.youthranch.org/about
Does Your Child Need Help? https://www.youthranch.org/get-help
Check Out the Full Story at: https://www.ktvb.com/article/life/bringing-idahos-kids-home-sponsored-by-idaho-youth-ranch