BYU-Idaho

Brigham Young University-Idaho officials reported Monday that the university saw its largest student body to date in 2016 with a total campus enrollment of 32,747.

REXBURG − Mental health has become a serious issue among young adults locally and nationally.

According to reports from the Rexburg Police Department, 13 people were reported as suicidal or in need of mental health help in October. Seven of those people were transported to a mental health facility or hospital.

Idaho is ranked the fifth highest state in the US for death by suicide.

Doug McBride, director of business development and marketing for Madison Memorial hospital, said they see an average of one person a day who have suicidal thoughts or considered suicide.

He said of those, about 50 percent are 18-years-old or younger. McBride said they also see several Brigham Young University-Idaho students.

“We’re at a point where mental health is an epidemic,” McBride said.

Margie Harris, executive director for the Family Crisis Center, said between July 2018 and June 2019 the Crisis Center began helping 20 BYU-Idaho victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, who came to them with mental health concerns.

According to BYU-Idaho’s website, it has a counseling center that provides guidance and assistance to those on campus with mental health needs. It currently has 14 counselors, one senior physician, one psychiatric nurse practitioner, and two sexual assault support counselors.

According to fall enrollment numbers provided by the university, there are 20,592 students living on campus with an additional 4,543 students who are campus-based but are taking online courses or are away on an internship.

It is unknown as to how many students visit the counseling center every year, or if the university gets any outside help to support their large and growing number of students. BYU-Idaho declined to comment.

According to BYU-Idaho’s website, their counseling center does offer a variety of group, couples, and individual counseling. Group counseling includes anything from anxiety and stress management to social skills workshops.

Rick Croft, program director for Madison Cares, said they see 20 to 25 university students attend each of their Adult and Student Mental Health First Aid classes, held once a month. Croft said many students come out of personal interest, but many have said that the class was strongly suggested by their instructors.

Croft said Madison Cares provides mental health support services to all Madison County students within their district from pre-K to 12th grade. He said they start young with their Building Our Social Skills Group, or BOSS, in elementary school.

Croft said they also have six instructors that teach mental health first aid. He said 80 percent of all teachers in the Madison School District and the Sugar-Salem School District have gone through the free course. He said that number also includes bus drivers, custodial staff and cafeteria staff.

He said the first aid class helps adults identify warning signs in young children and teenagers who may be struggling with suicide. This course is open to the public.

Another class they have is an education series that the public can take part in every Wednesday. It’s held at the Madison Education Center, located at 60 West Main, in Rexburg. It’s free, and held from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information on Madison Cares contact them at (208) 359-1256. They are located at 60 West Main Street, Rexburg.

Rexburg has several counseling centers for those struggling with mental health.

According to Rachal Welker, office administrator for Integrated Health and Wellness, said they see 1,300 to 1,400 patients a month and nearly 50 percent of their clients are from the university.

They offer depression and anxiety counseling. But some also provide help with addiction therapy, eating disorders, accelerated resolution therapy(ART), grief counseling, couples counseling and child play therapy. The facility does not offer a sliding scale or accept medicaid. They do offer payment plans and collect payment upfront.

Here is a list of some of the counseling centers in Rexburg:

The Rexburg Free Clinic

The Rexburg Free Clinic has mental health appointments available. every other Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., according to their Facebook page. Their services are for those who do not have health care or access to Medicaid. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (208) 716-8723.

Student Health & Counseling Center

Location: 100 Student Heath Center, Rexburg

Phone: (208) 496-9330

Centerpoint Counseling:

Location: 393 E 2nd N, Rexburg.

Phone: (208) 359-4840

Integrated Health and Wellness

Location: 101 E Main Street #210, Rexburg.

Phone: (208) 357-3104

Tueller Counseling

Location: 420 West 4th South, Rexburg

Phone: (208) 656-4017

Ostermiller Counseling Services

Location: 242 East Seventh North Suite 4, Rexburg

Phone: (208) 359-9683

Rexburg Counseling

Location: 2590 South 2000 West Suite 2, Rexburg

Phone: 208-356-0088

For more information on mental health on a state level visit the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare website at https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/

Also The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at (208) 398-4357.