mental health | KUER 90.1

mental health

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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.

Illustration of brain.
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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. 

Image of person on therapist couch looking distraught
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. 

Photo of BYU Campus.
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.

Criminal Justice Reforms Pass House

Mar 3, 2015
Brian Grimmett

The Utah House has passed a bill that would make sweeping reforms to the state’s criminal justice system.

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The University of Utah and the University of Memphis announced a new study Monday that suggests a way to substantially reduce the risk for suicide among military service members. The results were recently published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A new counseling center has opened in Utah to provide mental health therapy for those who have served in the military. The center provides specialized care outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Around this time of year, many of us are thinking about how we can help those who are most in need. We usually think about getting somebody a turkey or some warm clothes. Joining us in the KUER studios is somebody who has an alternative idea about ways you can make an impact. Laura Michalski is the new CEO for The Fourth Street Clinic, which provides health care to homeless Utahns. Michalski comes to Salt Lake City from Chicago, where she worked at the largest free health clinic of its kind in the country.

Tim Slover

The project encourages parents of children with Autism to provide the Unified Police Department with information—like an Autistic child’s name, physical description, and known triggers. Those facts would be passed to the officers responding to an emergency. The goal is to create humane interactions between

   officers and individuals with disabilities. Jon Owen is president of the Utah Autism Coalition. He says a large percentage of children with Autism are prone to wander.  The roster could help those missing be found faster.

Tim Slover

30-year-old social worker Kayelyn Louder has been missing since September 27th. She left her home at the Willows Condominiums in Murray around 7:00pm. and left behind her purse, keys, phone, and dog. Amy

Fugal is Louder’s cousin.

“We’re asking everyone, where you live, to please hang flyers where you live,” says Fugal. “It doesn’t matter if you’re close to her condominium or if you live in a different city. Just please hang flyers wherever you can, to get her face out there even more.”

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Most people who end up in Salt Lake County jail go in with some kind of mental illness or addiction to drugs. While there, they have access to mental health treatment. They usually leave sober, but support services outside of jail are difficult to find. In the final part of our series Last Resort, KUER follows some former inmates to see what happens to them after their release.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

For those in Utah who are addicted to drugs or mentally ill, jail may be one of the only places where treatment is free and accessible. In part one of a two-part series, KUER looks at how Salt Lake County cares for its incarcerated population.

Talking to people outside the Road Home shelter in Salt Lake City, you hear about job losses and the deaths of family members and friends, life events that can derail those who don’t have much of a support system, but you also hear another prevailing strain.

An independent audit of Salt Lake County’s Behavioral Health Services system was released Tuesday. Officials say it validates the county’s move to a managed-care model.  County Mayor Ben McAdams called for the audit last year following news that provider Valley Behavioral Health (VBH) would discontinue service to hundreds of patients due to budget cuts.

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