The need for mental health services has increased dramatically — Utah is a case in point

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) A mural dedicated to mental health awareness located at 3091 South 2700 West in West Valley City, Mar. 16, 2021.

By Melisa Araujo | The Public Forum

Utah currently suffers from mental health problems more than any other state in the US In recent studies it was discovered that almost 30% of adults in Utah suffer with mental health issues. Over the past two years this epidemic has come to a head as many people have experienced overwhelming changes in their individual lives, their family lives, and their businesses. As a result, the need for mental health services has increased dramatically.

There are colossal needs for mental health care for children in Utah that are not being met. Adolescents are struggling with their mental health due to many factors including peer pressure, trauma, and bullying. There are barriers for adults who need mental health and/ or substance use care. Barriers such as stigma, being uninsured or underinsured, or being part of BIPOC communities can affect access to care.

In the post COVID-19 world, we see a lot of anxiety and depression due to fear and isolation. Suicide is still one of the leading causes of death in both Utah and in the US Suicide has become a serious public health concern and has gotten worse with COVID-19.

There is help and hope for those struggling. There are resources available and people who understand. You and those you love are not alone. Below are some links to websites that have resources to help as well as the suicide prevention line. If you or someone you know, or love is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out. The beginnings of help and healing are just a call or click away.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-TALK.

Melisa Araujo, Salt Lake City

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