University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

Meeting Educators Where They Are

Virtual Behavioral Health Training Benefits Idaho’s Students

Janet L. Lindsay, the principal of rural Bear Lake Middle School in Montpelier, sees daily the impact of bringing behavioral health training directly to her teachers through ECHO Idaho, a part of Idaho WWAMI. The courses are delivered online for free so educators can engage from wherever they are in the state. 

"The K12 Education series is crucial for our community and the state of Idaho as a whole,” Lindsay said.  

The interactive nature of the sessions allows our teachers to engage with experts in various fields and stay updated on the latest research and best practices. This, in turn, enhances the overall quality of education we can offer to our students.Janet L. Lindsay, principal of Bear Lake Middle School.

In Fall 2023, ECHO Idaho, known for its programming for healthcare providers, launched a new training to support K12 educators. ECHO Education began with three, year-long series — K12 Behavioral Health, K12 Substance Use Prevention and Treatment, and K12 School Nurses. A fourth series, K12 Youth Suicide Prevention launched in January 2024.  

Providing access to the latest information and best practices is critical for educators in their effort to support Idaho families. 

The principal of Bear Lake Middle School, Janet L. Lindsay, smiling, sitting on a bench.
Janet L. Lindsay, Bear Lake Middle School principal. Photo provided by Janet L. Lindsay.

"The interactive nature of the sessions allows our teachers to engage with experts in various fields and stay updated on the latest research and best practices,” Lindsay said. “This, in turn, enhances the overall quality of education we can offer to our students.” 

Each virtual training is developed by an Idaho panel of interdisciplinary experts from education and healthcare, uniquely tailored to meet the current needs of our state’s school-based professionals.

“ECHO Education brings a unique approach to the training by blending experts from healthcare and education,” said Eric Studebaker, director of Project ECHO Idaho. “This interdisciplinary approach in the development of the training curriculum and in the case-based learning will create a new and fresh opportunity for participants. I am excited to see how this collaboration between Idaho’s leading experts in healthcare and education translates into the learning experience."

Five ECHO Idaho team members meeting in a conference room with laptops and a projection screen displaying information.
ECHO Idaho team meeting at the University of Idaho Water Center in downtown Boise. Photo provided by ECHO Idaho.

As of December 2023, 488 attendees from 138 organizations and 40 school districts across Idaho participated in 10 sessions. Participants can claim free professional development and continuing education credits through a partnership with the University of Idaho College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.

Participants in the K12 Education series said that participation in the sessions has helped them build positive relationships with students, staff and local community members, with 80% of participants currently working in a role that provides direct support to students in K12 settings.

The trainees included school nurses, social workers, guidance counselors, administrators, psychologists, physicians, public health professionals and classroom teachers.

“The impact on K12 students is significant. The knowledge and skills gained by our teachers through the ECHO Idaho sessions directly translate into enriched classroom experiences,” Lindsay said. “Our students benefit from a more dynamic and relevant curriculum, incorporating the latest advancements and ensuring they are well-prepared for the future.”

Eric Studebaker




Article by Alissa Korsak, University of Idaho Boise; Emma Zado, WWAMI; & Jodi Walker, University Communications & Marketing.

Photos by University of Idaho Photographic Services, Janet L. Lindsay and ECHO Idaho.

Published in January 2024.

Campus Locations

Physical Address:
Bruce M. Pitman Center
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264

Phone: 208-885-6111

Fax: 208-885-9119