mental health | KUER 90.1

mental health

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On a Saturday afternoon last year, two parents in Northern Utah were worried about their teenage son. He had a history of depression, and had been spending more time in his room than normal. He also hadn’t been washing his hair or eating well. 


Dr. Bret Frey is an emergency room physician in Reno, Nevada, and he likens working in health care right now to fighting in a war. 

"I always thought that there was a good chance that World War III would happen in some form in my lifetime, I just didn't appreciate it was going to come in the form of a virus," Frey says.

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Between a global pandemic and earthquakes, the times we live in can feel overwhelming. Social distancing is hard — maybe mentally most of all. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Utah Psychological Association President Dr. Kirt Cundick from his practice in Richfield. They talked about what people can do to best manage stress and anxiety.

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Austen Diamond for KUER

Often when someone seeks help for a mental health crisis, they’re taken in an ambulance to an emergency room. Mental health advocates, like Ginger Phillips, said that experience can be traumatic and make the crisis worse. 

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Brian Grimmett

Thursday evening, Feb. 13, 2020

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Renee Bright / KUER

Impeachment. A pivotal presidential election. The 2020 Census. Tax reform. And … The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Along with the perennial topics of growth, environment and healthcare, those are a few of the stories — big and small — we’ll be following this year. Here are 10 other stories to watch for 2020.

A report out this week found that people seeking mental health treatment go out-of-network more than they do for primary care. Essentially, that means that for consumers, it’s often more expensive to treat mind than body, and the disparity seems to have gotten worse in recent years. 

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Brian Albers / KUER

Editor’s note: During impeachment inquiry hearings, KUER is offering news roundups from around the state and audio of those stories as a resource for our audience.

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Cory Dinter / For KUER

When Ginger Phillips was experiencing severe symptoms of her schizoaffective disorder, she used to end up in the emergency room a lot.

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Utah saw a jump in demand for mental health services over the last three years, according to a state Legislative Auditor General report discussed at an interim legislative session Tuesday.

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After a mass shooting takes place, the conversation often turns toward access to mental health services or laws focused on keeping firearms out of the hands of people with mental illness. But the assumption that this group is committing the most gun violence is largely false, according to some health experts in Utah.

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Updated 11:45 a.m. MDT 8/2/19

Facing an already high rate of suicide in Utah, state officials are now taking a closer look at the scale of farmers taking their own lives. 

The issue comes from a complex combination of factors affecting farm country, including financial insecurity, decades of agricultural consolidation, international trade disputes and natural disasters that experts say are pushing some farmers into hopelessness.

The Mountain West has disproportionately high rates of depressive disorders and suicide. Researchers are trying to find out why. Turns out, the mountains themselves might have something to do with it. 

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Renee Bright / KUER

The effort to change a young person’s sexual orientation with therapy may soon be prohibited for psychologists in Utah.

The Rocky Mountain region continues to face some of the highest suicide rates in the country. A recent panel of experts in Colorado addressed what they said was one of the biggest hurdles to mental health: social stigma. 

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BYU Photo / Abby Smith

The suicide of a 19-year-old Brigham Young University student last month sent shockwaves through the student body, causing many to ask whether the school was offering enough mental health support.

Our region has an especially high rate of suicide. Now Colorado is taking a unique approach to deal with it, at least for kids. Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, just allocated $2.8 million for a state-wide pediatric mental health initiative.

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Utah has historically ranked dead last for salary disparity between men and women, and, there isn’t much progress in other key areas such as mental health and education either, according to a new study out this week.

Renee Bright / KUER

In the Hive Mind, KUER reporters take questions from our listeners and try to help find the answer. This week KUER spoke to a woman with a life or death question about mental health. 

Erik Neumann / KUER

Several hundred people gathered at Copper Mountain Middle School last night in Herriman to talk about a troubling spike in teen suicides.

New recruits from the Salt Lake and West Valley City police departments took part in a de-escalation training this week focused on people experiencing a mental health crisis. The training was a way to equip new officers with tools to deal with a common problem in Utah.  

Mentally Ill, Stuck In Jail

Mar 22, 2018

If you commit a crime in Utah and a judge says you’re too mentally ill to defend yourself in court, you’ll get sent to Utah State Hospital in Provo. That’s how it’s meant to work anyway. The problem is they don’t have enough staff to treat everyone. So, jails are picking up the slack. On top of that, a mental hospital at capacity means less room for people who haven’t been arrested.

Link to original story: http://kuer.org/post/pressure-utah-free-more-psychiatric-beds

 


Utah is working to get mentally ill jail inmates the treatment they need to stand trial. But because of funding, many of them now have to wait. The Utah legislature is finalizing the budget this week, which includes money to expand the state hospital. But some worry it’s just a temporary solution.

 

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President Trump’s former staff secretary Rob Porter has been all over the news since he resigned from the White House last week. Porter, a Mormon, left his position after his two ex-wives accused him of being physically abusive. It has since been revealed that both of these women confided in their Mormon bishops about the abuse and were encouraged to remain in their relationships.

Erik Neumann / KUER

When police get called for a domestic disturbance or a shooting, we often think of the officers who put themselves in dangerous situations. But dispatchers at the Salt Lake Unified Police Department are another group of emergency responders who deal with their own type of stress and trauma

Brian Grimmett

A Utah lawmaker is working on a bill to expand access to treatment for women suffering from postpartum depression.

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A federal judge has granted class action status to a lawsuit filed against the state of Utah on behalf of several mentally ill prison inmates.

Juliet Fletcher / Council of State Governments Justice Center

A new report recognizes Salt Lake County for its efforts in criminal justice reform, but researchers found weaknesses in how it handles offenders with behavioral health disorders.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah Department of Corrections officially launched a new intervention program Thursday to keep female offenders out of jail.

A new study suggests antidepressants can help not just mental health but heart health as well. Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that treating depression helps reduce the risk for heart disease. The study is being presented this weekend at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in San Diego on Sunday.

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