“Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”

Using your voice for system change at local, regional, and state levels

As parents, we are in a unique position to understand the multiple systems our kids interact with and often we feel passionately about change. Join our panelists as they discuss how to get involved at local, regional, and state levels to have your voice heard and help change the system you interact with for the better.

Resources and Links from the Presentation

Please Note: The Idaho Parent Network has not reviewed these links for content or consistency of message. The views expressed are solely those of the individual authors and/or agencies. They are presented solely for informational purposes.

Some Local Resources:

Community Youth in Action (Eastern Idaho) – A community youth organization in the Idaho Falls Area

Serve Idaho – Serve Idaho promotes collaborative efforts among private and nonprofit organizations, schools and state and local government agencies to advance national service programs and volunteerism throughout the state. We are here to Serve Idaho!

Just Serve – JustServe.org is a website where the volunteer needs of organizations may be posted and volunteers may search for places to serve in the community, providing opportunities to help those in need and enhance the quality of life in the community.

“Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risk involved. If it is, stop worrying.”

Amelia Earhart

American Aviator (1897-1937)

Regional Level Information:

Regional Behavioral Health Boards – A behavioral health board exists in each region of the state. For more information on each regional board, community outreach and events, as well as specific meeting dates and times, please visit the regional behavioral health board websites.

State Level Information:

Idaho Federation of Families – The Idaho Federation of Families educates policy makers, professional organizations, legislators, educators, and the public about the needs of children with emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges and their families. Fundamental to the Idaho Federation of Families is a focus on family participation and support.

Idaho State Legislature  – Information about legislative sessions and upcoming legislation.

Idaho State Legislators – Information to help you find your legislator.

Session Presenters

Marco Erickson, M.S.

Programs Director, Community Youth in Action, Representative, Idaho House of Representatives, District 33B

Marco knew from a young age that he would be a professional lifelong change agent. Marco started doing drug and alcohol prevention work in the first grade and continued through High School participating and speaking at schools and national prevention events throughout his career. Marco graduated from Montana State University Billings with his bachelor’s in psychology and later his master’s in psychology from Walden University in 2009. Marco provided direct mental health services to youth and adults for fourteen years and in his eclectic learning style served every role from the beginning level worker to co owning a clinic. Marco always had a passion for suicide prevention, and alcohol and drug prevention and has served on many committees and boards to address topics of social change. Marco managed a large federal grant for the Nevada Department of Education followed by managing the State Bureau of Behavioral Health Wellness and Prevention which is the agency responsible for Nevada’s substance abuse, mental health, and primary prevention services for alcohol and drugs, HIV, gambling addictions, suicide prevention and homelessness. His experience in State government taught him a lot about the policy side of the great work he is involved in. Despite loving the work in Nevada, Marco and his family’s hearts were always in Idaho and being closer to extended family. In 2019 Marco and his family moved back home to Idaho Falls where he Joined Community Youth in Action knowing that the largest impact can be made working with youth in prevention. In addition Marco was Elected to the Idaho House of Representatives serving District 33B in 2020. Marco is highly active in life with his wife and their 5 children, they have four boys, and one daughter. Marco enjoys keeping his family busy enjoying the world around them and all it has to offer. Marco enjoys the performing arts and writing and performing country music songs in fairs and singing competitions. With Marco’s skills and background, he is looking forward to using his skills to continue to serve the people of Idaho and continue to utilize his talents to make a difference every day.

Amy Marie

Parent, Secretary, Idaho Parent Network for Children’s Mental Health

Amy, a mom of 8 and a native Oregonian, considers beautiful Coeur d’Alene in North Idaho her home. That is where she spent most of her adult life and married her sweetheart. They became foster parents, and added 5 children to their family through adoption. Along with childhood trauma, collectively her children have a variety of severe emotional disturbances, developmental, and neurological disorders. This has brought a lifetime opportunity for learning and growth, and has strengthened her compassion and empathy that fuels her passion to serve others. After relocating four years ago, and working to rebuild a new support system for her family, she became involved with the Idaho Parent Network, Region 7’s Behavioral Health Board and CMH Subcommittee, serving on various prevention workgroups. She reviews documentation for YES, provides parent voice and feedback to the State, has been a resource for the DHW and Optum for presentations, interviews, and training videos, and now is Co-Chair of the IGT-Family Engagement Committee. Amy serves as Chair of the Citizen Review Panel, which reviews open CPS cases in Eastern Idaho and participates on the statewide leadership team. Amy loves babies, singing, musical theater, reading, traveling, watching movies, and cuddling.

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” 

Jane D Hull

Governor of Arizona (1997 to 2003)

Pat Martelle, LCSW

Program Development Coordinator, Idaho Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

Pat is focused on system change in children’s systems of care as youth and families speak to what those changes need to be. Her background is in clinical social work, public health, and policy development. She gets her inspiration from the youth who are currently speaking out globally about public health issues.

“Parents should continue to become more involved in their communities”

Sandra Day O’Connor

U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1981-2006)

Teriann Ness-Parker, LCSW

Member, Region 7 Behavioral Health Board, Chair, Region 7, Children's Mental Health Subcommittee

Teriann, a mom to 4 children, 2 of which are adopted, has almost 30 years of experience advocating for individuals of all ages. She has helped those with mental health concerns, medical challenges, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities. She has served her community as a treatment level foster parent, and worked for the Department of Health and Welfare, as a self-reliance specialist, and as a client service tech for the adult mental health program where she helped develop the Region 7 Mental Health Vourt. She also worked as a case manager for Child Protection. Teriann later worked as a drug and alcohol rehab specialist for the Idaho Department of Corrections. Currently Teriann serves her community as a certified complex trauma clinician in private practice in Idaho Falls and as an elected member of the Region 7 Behavioral Health Board. She also chairs the Region 7 Behavioral Health Board’s Children’s Mental Health Subcommittee. Teriann received the 2016 Advocacy Award from the Idaho Federation of Families for her dedication to Idaho and specifically for her work bringing national experts to train mental health providers in rural and urban eastern Idaho communities.