ALL NEWS

Mental health services expanding for children (and parents) in Utah

May 23, 2022, 2:05 PM

Primary Children's Hospital (Photo credit: KSL.com)

(Photo credit: KSL.com)

SALT LAKE CITY — Additional mental health services for children are coming to more western locations in Utah.

The state of Utah and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital have teamed up to bring an in-person team to urban and rural counties in Utah’s western region, including Wasatch, Utah, and Juab counties.

Related: May 7 declared as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Utah

Intermountain said that Wayne, Piute, Severe, Millard and Sanpete counties also will receive Stabilization Mobile Response services via telehealth.

The benefits of added in-person and telehealth mental health programs

The larger Stabilization Mobile Response program is needed, officials told KSL NewsRadio, because more kids need the services.

“Intermountain has seen a 300 percent increase in behavioral health and psychiatric crises [in children] in the last decade,” said Dr. Lisa Giles, Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services at Primary Children’s Hospital.  She said the Stabilization Mobile Response (SMR) program has been in Utah since 2017.

Related: Utah mental health centers ready for switch to new 988 number

“This is one program that I think does a really fantastic job of addressing this large issue of ‘How do we help kids in crisis?’ When we can meet kids where they are, in a home setting, and keep kids out of the emergency room, it’s often a much more conducive environment to help stabilize a crisis.”

She said the emergency room is the default when a child has a mental health crisis. But that the SMR program has changed that. “As the state has collected data on the effectiveness of this program,” Dr. Giles said,  “at least 30 percent of families served have said this program has kept them from taking their child to the emergency room.”

It’s helped in another area, too. “Families often call law enforcement when a child is in crisis,” Giles said, “and 20% of families have said this program has kept them from having to call law enforcement.”

What is Stabilization Mobile Response?

Stabilization Mobile Response works in three ways. First, it’s a phone number for parents to call. “A phone number that provides triage to families and youth in crisis. ‘Okay. What do we do now? What’s the next step? What needs to happen?'”

Related: Researchers say mental health affected by daylight exposure

Based on what they learn in the initial call, the team can send someone to the home right away. “The mobile response portion is ‘Hey, we actually need someone to come to where you are, assess the situation and provide that hands on support to get through the crisis,” Giles said. “And then the third part of the service is the  in-home stabilization.”

Mental health services: from toddler to teenager

“The service is for anyone under the age of 20 in the state, and so really can be anything the family is considering a crisis,” Dr. Giles explained. “It can be a toddler who’s having an extreme temper tantrum breakdown and you just do not know what to do because the behaviors are so extreme, to a teenager who’s feeling suicidal.”

SMR is not just help for the child. It’s help for the family. “Typically, it’s providing interventions for the child that’s in crisis, but also with the family to help them know how to best respond and know what to do.”

In-person or telehealth

Sometimes the only help that is needed is connecting the family to resources, but when a mobile response is needed, it can be in person or telehealth. “The difference between that mobile response being in person versus virtual depends mostly on geography,” Dr. Giles said. “So, right now in-person mobile response is available in Wasatch, Utah and Juab Counties in the western region, and also Salt Lake and many of our counties in the north.

“We are launching a virtual response service in Wayne, Piute, Severe, Millard and Sanpete counties.”

Parents needing mental health support for their children through SMR or other means should call 1-833-SAFE-FAM.  The Utah Crisis Line is 801-587-3000. Download the SafeUT app or dial 911 in life-threatening situations.

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

nikki haley shown, she will be in utah next week...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Nikki Haley to visit Utah next week ahead of Super Tuesday presidential caucus votes

Nikki Haley plans to hold a rally at the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts on Utah Valley University's campus in Orem on the morning of Feb. 28.

1 hour ago

solar panel shown, solar power in utah is the major focus of a proposed law...

Heather Peterson

Bill focusing on solar power customers in Utah gets favorable recommendation in Senate committee

Right now, Rocky Mountain Power only credits solar power customers in Utah about 5 cents for the power they send back to the grid.

2 hours ago

a woman on her phone...

Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

Utah Legislature approves candidate signature gathering change

A shift is coming for candidates who have to gather signatures to get on the ballot, an app allowing them to verify a voter's eligibility in real-time.

3 hours ago

a meetinghouse shown, select meeting houses will be used as community centers...

Britt Johnson

Select meetinghouses will serve as community resource centers

The community resource centers are part of the MyHometown Utah initiative, which seeks to support and strengthen local communities.

4 hours ago

kansas city shooting...

NICK INGRAM Associated Press

2 adults are charged with murder in the deadly shooting at Kansas City’s Super Bowl celebration

The new charges come after two juveniles were charged for the Kansas City shooting last week.

5 hours ago

Motorists travel under a wildlife crossing bridge spanning I-80 in Parleys Canyon on Tuesday, Oct. ...

Mariah Maynes

Save People Save Wildlife urges creation of wildlife passageway on SR 224

Save People Save Wildlife has urged Park City's council to add a wildlife passageway on S.R. 224 to its 2024 strategic plan. The organization presented its case to the council on February 15. 

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Mental health services expanding for children (and parents) in Utah