Serving Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties



Free Program Supports Mental Health of Students, Families During the Summer Break

BOISE, June 12, 2023 – A free program addressing student mental health and supporting families in our communities offered in the Boise, Kuna and West Ada School Districts continues to be available through the summer months.

The Student and Family Assistance Program (SFAP) is a partnership between Central District Health, Idaho-based BPA Health and the Boise, Kuna and West Ada school districts, and includes free counseling sessions for all families within the school districts. Eligible family members can use the program even if the student does not participate.

The program provides short-term, solutions-focused resources to help with academic pressures; drug and alcohol issues; emotional health such as depression, anxiety or grief; relationship skills; behavior concerns; stress; parenting; anger management; adjusting to change; and other personal problems. The program includes five separate sessions per mental or behavioral issue.

“This program has expanded existing youth mental and behavioral health services by including all family members and adding new avenues that didn’t exist before” said Russell Duke, CDH director. “We are happy to see students and families utilizing this resource.”

The Boise, Kuna and West Ada school districts started offering SFAP in December 2022. In just five months —from January 1 to May 18, 2023— over 200 students and family members accessed resources that promote healthy homes, minds and families – building blocks for academic success and resiliency. The most common services accessed include individual and group behavioral health counseling; personal legal consultations; resources on parenting and finding childcare; tools for work-life balance; support for eldercare and aging family members; and resources related to improving skills at work.

Now that school is out, BPA Health wants to share with students and their families that in-person and virtual counseling continues to be available through the summer school break, so that they can access the help they need in a timely manner.

“We talked to and surveyed over 7,000 students and found that while 70% of students are doing very well, 30% are struggling from depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and a range of other issues,” said

Jason Shanks, Boise School District counseling supervisor. “This partnership with BPA Health is another great tool to provide mental health support not just to the students but to their families as well, even through the summer months when help might be needed but school is out.”

Additionally, the SFAP features a crisis hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week for families and individuals who need immediate assistance. BPA Health offers additional support services including a variety of topics from legal advice and financial planning to parenting and stress management as well as other well-being focused resources.

Those interested in accessing these services can learn more online at BPA-SFAP-Student-Flyer,
Volantes del Programa de Asistencia Para Estudiantes y Familias, and To call the crisis hotline, dial 833-935-3816.

About Central District Health
Central District Health, Public Health District IV, is one of seven public health districts within the state of Idaho, serving the counties of Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley. With a vision of Healthy People in Healthy Communities, CDH’s emphasis is on decreasing risk factors for chronic disease, improving quality of life and increasing the years of healthy life among residents.

Maria Ortega, CDH Communications Manager
Office: 208-327-8639 | Cell: 208-871-1712 |

Trent Young, CDH PIO Specialist
Office: 208-327-8525 | Cell: 968-224-1089 |

Jenny Brown
BPA Account Manager
Office: 480-232-1544


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