Heart in the valley

Jack and Pat Worle, because you asked: I’ve just been here in Kingman, Ariz., since May. My husband and I had a home built on the outskirts of town in 1998.

About the “they’ve come a long way baby,” I was referring to the improvement (upgrades) I’ve seen on so many approaches into the city of Clarkston since moving here:

l When you come off the Red Wolf Bridge to 15th and Bridge streets., you may have noticed there was a huge blackberry patch and swamp on that corner, which is now a respectable community center. ..

l Down Fleshman Way is the latest roundabout, the best I’ve ever come across. ...

l Don’t forget the waterfront park at the Port of Clarkston with the dock and ramp to it. ...

My husband and I spent more than 20 years volunteering our time (civic and religious). I guess my heart is still in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. ...

Someone said that it would save the taxpayers if the jail was in town. But no one that I know of has ... compared the two places price-wise. ...

I can almost see Evans Road from my former home off Elm Street. The beautiful homes that have been built on the west end of Elm since I came to the valley are another beauty mark. ...

In the future, there will be a developer who will turn the last waterfront property in our town into something beautiful. Just wait and see.

Darlene Plant

Kingman, Ariz

Meeting a need

One in five Idaho adults is living with a mental illness. More than 75,000 adults are considered either dependent on or abusing alcohol. Unfortunately, many are unable to access the health care they need.

Fortunately, there are solutions. Just look at our neighbors in Walla Walla. The population size is nearly identical to Lewiston but there’s one thing they have that we don’t — a certified community behavioral health clinic.

CCBHCs operate like federally qualified health centers. We have more than 125 FQHCs in Idaho delivering community-based primary health care on a sliding fee scale. FQHCs have been around since the early 1990s and have transformed health care, particularly in rural communities.

CCBHCs are like FQHCs, but with a focus on mental health and substance use care. CCBHCs provide 24-hour crisis care and evidence-based services to anyone in need of mental health or substance use treatment services, regardless of ability to pay.

Today, CCBHCs are operating in 40 states. But Idaho is not one of them. It’s time to change that.

The bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act of 2021 would allow for the broad adoption of the CCBHC model, including in Idaho. This tracks with recommendations made by the Idaho Behavioral Health Council appointed by Gov. Brad Little.

I urge the entire Idaho congressional delegation to support this important piece of legislation as I believe the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make life better for the people of Idaho.

Mike Kingsley