EDUCATION

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

Jan 13, 2022, 10:18 AM | Updated: Apr 29, 2022, 11:11 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:

Today’s Top Stories

Education

u of u student arrested...
Waverly Golden

Other paths to consider when thinking about attending college

Following the student loan forgiveness announcement, college is on everyone's mind. Dave Noriega takes an in-depth look at the alternatives.
2 days ago
An electronic sign on the campus of the University of Utah was seen displaying pornography today....
Becky Bruce

Slight increase in crime on U of U campus from previous year, report says

There has been a slight increase in crime on campus over the previous year, according to a report released Friday by the University of Utah.
3 days ago
US President Joe Biden announces student loan relief on August 24, 2022 in the Roosevelt Room of th...
Betsy Klein and MJ Lee, CNN

Biden administration kicks off student loan debt forgiveness process

The Biden administration began its efforts aimed at student loan forgiveness on Thursday.
3 days ago
cline alpine board...
Lindsay Aerts

At Alpine school board meeting, Natalie Cline claims district allows porn in classrooms

Whether Cline, from the Utah Board of Education, can speak at the Alpine district meeting (where she doesn't reside) was questioned.
4 days ago
The wafer with the etched Book of Mormon on it, made by BYU students...
Samantha Herrera

BYU engineering students put ‘world’s smallest Book of Mormon’ on 4 inch disc

The entirety of the Book of Mormon is now on display on a gold-plated 4-inch disc in the Clyde Building at BYU. It'll last millions of years.
4 days ago
American Leadership Academy pictured....
Elizabeth Weiler

American Leadership Academy responds to homecoming incident

American Leadership Academy responded to allegations of body shaming and dress code at a high school homecoming dance.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Mental health needs spike during pandemic, but help in Utah abundant, free