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High Country Behavioral Health moving to new location after 15 years of operation

Business & Money

IDAHO FALLS – After 15 years of operation, a local health center is opening a new location.

The building formerly occupied by Century 21 Greater Landco Realty at 1248 E. 17th Street in Idaho Falls will soon be the home of High Country Behavioral Health Center.

Brandi Warnke, the health center’s clinical director, tells the new building will allow them to serve more people.

“We’re very excited about this new location because it kind of puts us out there for everybody. We have a lot of great services and a lot of great clinicians. This building really is set up well for us to provide those services easily and smoothly,” Warnke says.

Kipp Dana, the health center’s executive director, worked with Kerry Howell at SVN High Desert Commercial and Century 21 High Desert to purchase the 12,000-square-foot space. They are leasing the current building at 2420 E. 25th Street.

The move comes after High Country Behavioral Health bought Mental Wellness Center in November, Dana says. The acquisition meant they needed significantly more space, and the 17th Street location is more than double the size of their current building.

“We’re putting ourselves in a position for growth and opportunity,” says Dana. “The new building…has 11 additional offices, so we’ll be able to expand the capacity to see more clients and hire more counselors.”

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Services offered

High Country Behavioral Health is a nonprofit that provides outpatient mental health and substance abuse counseling, as well as case management and community-based rehabilitation services. It also works with victims of domestic violence.

Anxiety, depression and substance use disorders are the most common issues they deal with, Dana says.

The organization got its start in Wyoming 40 years ago. The Idaho Falls location opened in 2004 and currently serves between 600 and 1,000 clients.

“I’m excited for what High Country Behavioral Health will be able to do in the future because their mission and priorities are in the right spot for our community’s needs,” Warnke says.

Coping with mental illness during COVID-19

Clients and counselors are currently connecting with each other online while the stay-home order is in place.

Dealing with mental health issues during the pandemic has been an ongoing conversation among health professionals.

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For those who struggle with these kinds of issues, Warnke says there may be potential after-effects as the stay-home order is gradually reduced over the next two months.

“While we’re at home, we have….stayed status quo” in the number of mental health cases we’ve dealt with, she says. “We are expecting that there will be after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and I think we’re in a pretty good place to be able to respond to that.”

Renovations on the new building are already underway. The move will take place on June 1 and Dana hopes to be operational in the new building by mid-June.

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“With the governor’s orders and the stages of reopening our community, it’s still suggested we continue with TeleHealth Services through June 1. We want to be opening and running and still hanging pictures on the wall, but we are still open and available for business in providing services to those in need,” Warnke says.

To schedule an appointment or learn more, visit the website.

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