Suicide Prevention Funding

Newsletter - 2/3/19

I’m going to rein it in here, but we had the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare give budget presentations this past week in JFAC. We are talking serious money here…about $4 billion. What has happened to us? This is money taken from hardworking Americans to help those less fortunate. I know we have a huge population increase since the good ol’ days, but my gosh this is a gigantic price tag.
As many of you know, I have been trying to help our district with our serious suicide issue. But under the concept of trying to save lives AND be accountable for the money spent. This is a concept that is really difficult for department personnel to grasp.
The finance committee, under my insistence last year, required a plan to be written that would give us measurable outcomes in terms of lives saved. It has been a long, rough journey. The short story is that now there is a plan to measure outcomes, and therefore be accountable for the money spent AND lives saved.
So, what does the department do? This year they asked for twice as much money. After three or four years of not being able to account for anything but effort, the public should double its spend? I think not.
I’m not hardnosed unless I have to be, and this is one of those times I have to be.  Let’s get this right. Let’s make sure the plan works, and when we do the new relationships will work.

Here's an article from the Lewiston Morning Tribune you might be interested in reading on the subject:

https://lmtribune.com/northwest/senator-wants-to-see-plan-before-funding-increase-for-suicide/article_5ac6a612-ede7-55b4-92cc-71b0c5b13ab9.html