News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

January 16, 2012 — Vol. 28 No. 2

Institute of Rural Health Receives Grant

Ann Kirkwood

Idaho State University's Institute of Rural Health has received a $22,500 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to serve as the agency's Outreach Partner for Idaho.

ISU-IRH has served as the NIMH Outreach Partner for Idaho for 15 years and was selected this month for another round of funding. ISU-IRH is one of the state partners as well as representatives from District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

"As an Outreach Partner, ISU is responsible for disseminating the latest NIMH mental health research findings and talking to the public about mental disorders and discrimination associated with mental illness," said Ann Kirkwood, ISU-IRH senior research associate at the Meridian Health Science Center and principle investigator for the project.

"We disseminate NIMH information through our partners across Idaho and provide materials to complement our children's mental health trainings," Kirkwood said.

ISU-IRH has offered the Better Todays/Better Tomorrows gatekeeper education program to 11,000 Idahoans since 2000. It provides information on the signs and symptoms of mental health problems in children and youth, suicide risk and protective factors, mental illness stigma and resiliency. The free course currently is offered through the Awareness to Action Youth Suicide Prevention Project funded by the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act and administered by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

"ISU-IRH's participation in the Outreach Program provides Idahoans the opportunity to give input to NIMH on public health needs of communities across the state," Kirkwood said. "This input ensures that Idaho's needs are represented as NIMH advances its research agenda."

Better Todays trainings are free to the public. Upcoming trainings are scheduled in Caldwell, Meridian and Sandpoint. To register for training, go to NIMH materials are available on the ISU-IRH website in a virtual packet at

For more information on the NIMH Outreach Partnership Program visit