MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

Mental health needs spike during pandemic, but help in Utah abundant, free

Jan 13, 2022, 10:18 AM
mental health help...
Doctor explain health check document of male patient in medical clinic or hospital mental health. health and doctor concept. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — The COVID-19 pandemic has generated another pandemic: the need for mental health and substance-use care in Utah and throughout the country. A Utah mental health expert discussed growing issues and emphasized free help is available for those in need.

Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, CEO of the University of Utah’s Huntsman Mental Health Institute, said HMHI saw an 32%  increase in calls to the Utah Crisis Line last year.

“What the pandemic did was amplify [mental health issues] and also bring them to the forefront,” he said.

Rapaport also lauded the state for its far-sighted leadership during the dual pandemics.

“We’re in much better shape than most other states in the nation because our state leadership has created an integrated program of crisis and mental-health care,” Rapaport said.

He specifically cited the SafeUT app, which connects youths to licensed counselors (or 833-372-3388) for help during any kind of crisis. The app works to keep schools safe for students and teachers.

“This app allows us to provide 24/7 emergency care for anyone that texts us or uses the app to reach out to us,” Rapaport said, adding the app is being used by more than 850,000 students today.

“The impact of a child developing a mental disorder is really a profound one because that impacts that child throughout his or her life [and] because it impacts the entire family,” he said.

Depression, anxiety and substance-use disorders

Rapaport said the three disorders have always been with us, depression, anxiety, and substance-use disorders. But that the people suffering from the disorders have always been afraid to talk about it.

He added that today more people are having more trouble with the three disorders, and more people are overdosing as well.

“Right now, mental health and substance-use disorders are the leading cause of disability in the world,” he said.

But what’s happened is because of the pandemic, because of the impact of feeling out of control of one’s life, because of the lack of the supports that we normally have within a society, because of the social isolation that people have felt, feelings of helplessness, all of a sudden it’s becoming one, in the forefront, and two, more acceptable to begin to discuss it.

Rapaport said Step One for someone who is experiencing — maybe for first time — a mental health crisis is to call the following phone number:

For help, call the Utah Crisis Line at: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) [toll free] or 801-587-3000 [local]

Another first step to take is to seek mental health help and medical advice from your physician’s or doctor’s office. 

“Those physicians should be able to begin to intervene and also begin to guide one towards directions where help would be available,” Rapaport said.

Related:

Mental Health Resources

mental health daylight exposure...
Jacob Rueda

Researchers say mental health affected by daylight exposure

With daylight saving time possibly becoming permanent, researchers say daylight exposure can affect mental health, and more darkness during winter might be harmful,
5 months ago
Suicide Prevention, mental health centers...
Jacob Rueda

Utah mental health centers ready for switch to new 988 number

Utah mental health facilities are preparing for an upgrade to the national suicide prevention number from a 10-digit number to a three-digit number.
5 months ago
A family photo shows Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor, who at 10 years old died by suicide over the sec...
Aimee Cobabe and Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawmakers approve bill inspired by Izzy Tichenor to track who gets bullied at school

Utah lawmakers passed a bill to require school officials to collect data on kids who are getting bullied. That data would include the victim's demographics.
5 months ago
TikTok teen...
Curt Gresseth

Is TikTok hurting your teen? Parents can help says counselor

Parents can help their teen make better decisions about their interactions with social media platforms like TikTok.
6 months ago
TikTok ban...
Curt Gresseth

Is it time for parents to remove kids from social media?

The Granite School District asks parents to take their children off social media if they can't monitor their kids' use of the apps.
7 months ago
depression in older adults drone video game...
Curt Gresseth

Can video games relieve depression in older adults? University of Utah study to find out.

Depression in older adults could be relieved by certain video games. A University of Utah Health study aims to find out.
7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Mental health needs spike during pandemic, but help in Utah abundant, free