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Idaho State Board of Education Sponsors Mental Health Summit

BYU-Idaho Radio · Idaho State Board of Education Sponsors Mental Health Summit
The Idaho State Board of Education is sponsoring a Mental Health Summit Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. Debbie Critchfield, Idaho State Board of Education President, said this summit will provide an opportunity to learn more about mental health. 

“Leading up to the summit… where COVID is concerned, it has really highlighted, and unfortunately exacerbated, an already serious issue… We wanted to provide an opportunity for participants to hear, listen and learn from experts to understand what it is we are talking about, then provide a call to action,” Critchfield said. 

The summit is directed toward students but is available for anyone to watch. Critchfield said anyone who has interactions with students can benefit from knowing where to find mental health resources and support.  

“It is intended, honestly, for anybody and everybody along the spectrum. We know that providing support for our students entails having a trusted adult,” Critchfield said.  

The summit will include a variety of speakers and mental health professionals. One of the goals of the mental health summit is to move beyond raising awareness. Critchfield said the Idaho State Board of Education wants to provide skills and tools for navigating mental health.  

“If you are interacting… with?students, [we want you to feel] you have some skills and knowledge on what is available in your community on partnering. [You should know] what sort of mental health supports are available in schools beyond a school counselor, or really you can take advantage of the knowledge and expertise that our school counselors have,”?Critchfield said. 

Part of the program will include students sharing their thoughts on mental health and what they have experienced during the pandemic.  

“I think one of the most important voices we are going to hear during the summit is directly from students, and hearing from them, understanding the problem as they see it, not only personally but as they see it with their peers. I think that is going to be a really powerful part of the summit,” Critchfield said. 

The mental health summit is Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. MST. More information is available online at The summit can be watched online on the Idaho Public Television YouTube channel. For the live-stream, or a recording of the summit, click here.