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World Mental Health Day

October 10, 2020

Today for World Mental Health Day, we recognize the importance of looking after our mental health and the mental wellbeing of our loved ones in a year fraught with anxiety, depression, and stress.

This year has been incredibly challenging as our daily lives have been altered considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students have had to adjust to an online format for classes, contact with friends and family have been limited, many workers are facing threats to their livelihoods, and the fear associated with spreading COVID to our loved ones has increased as the cases continue to rise. Many are anxious about the future and worry for the economic consequences of the pandemic, while uncounted friends and family members are faced with the grief of losing their loved ones.

If you are struggling during this tumultuous time, it is normal and understandable. You are not alone in your struggles, and it is okay to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed, worried, or distressed.

Below are some tips and advice to help you look out for your mental health and help those who may need some extra support:

  • Stay informed – Listen to the advice and direction from local authorities and health officials, and make sure your information is coming from trusted news sources – not just information you get from unverified social media posts.
  • Keep in touch – Make sure you’re keeping in touch with your friends and loved ones, even if you have to be apart. Check in with them and let them know how you’re doing through online platforms or by phone.
  • Keep up routines – Although the world may be constantly changing around you and affecting your normal schedules, try to keep up with your normal routines. Get up and go to bed at regular times, eat meals regularly, make time for working out, and set aside time to do what you love and enjoy.
  • Minimize screen time – Having a constant flow of news throughout the day can make you anxious or depressed. Take breaks from social media and screens periodically.

If you need some extra emotional support, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Reach out to the lines below if you need to talk to someone:

  • SafeUT – Download the free SafeUT app to message a crisis counselor. Available 24/7.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Available 24/7.
  • Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741. Available 24/7.
  • Intermountain Health Care, free emotional health relief hotline – 833-442-2211. Available 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
  • University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) warm line – 801-587-1055. Available 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
  • University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) crisis line – 801-587-3000. Available 24/7.

Mental health is a priority for Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and the Utah Attorney General’s Office. In June 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to designate 988 as the new three-digit suicide hotline, following the dedicated efforts of the Utah Attorney General’s Office and partners. This is an incredible step forward for prioritizing suicide prevention and ensuring the well-being of all Utahns and Americans.  

Additionally, we recognize SafeUT and their dedication to providing mental health resources and crisis intervention for Utah’s students and educators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for their efforts and encourage you to download SafeUT for free if you have not previously.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office is proud to partner with organizations such as the Jason Foundation, the SafeUT Commission, the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI), and Life’s Worth Living Foundation. These organizations help raise awareness of the prevalence of suicide in the State of Utah and provide resources and education on suicide prevention.

World Mental Health Day 2019

October 10, 2019

Today, the Utah Attorney General’s Office observes World Mental Health Day to bring awareness about mental health and to recognize and acknowledge the need to advocate against the social stigma. With this year’s theme placing an emphasis on suicide prevention, we underscore that you are not alone. You are loved and you are greatly needed.

Mental health is prevalent among everyone from all walks of life. People of every race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or socioeconomic status are affected by mental health challenges. According to the Kem C. Gardener Policy Institute’s 2019 report on Utah’s Mental Health System, our country is in the midst of a mental health crisis with increasing suicide rates, untreated anxiety and depression, and a prevalence of serious mental illnesses. Utah has one of the highest rates of suicide in the country, where it is the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 24. Tragically, Utah ranks the lowest in the nation for mental health, with a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care.

Unfortunately, despite the rising mental health crisis, the social stigma against mental illnesses remains a consistent presence. Ending the stigma is complex and will not happen overnight. While treatment and support are available for those that need it, the lines of communication must be open. The importance and inherent need for an open, understanding mind are more crucial than ever. The first step starts with listening to understand and simply be there for those around you.

For World Mental Health Day, we urge you to listen when someone reaches out to you. We urge you to have those important conversations about mental illness and educate yourself on what mental health is and then help teach others. Additionally, we urge you to be kind to those around you. Everyone is juggling a lot in their lives, whether it be stress, disappointment, grief, or pain, and all those things can add up quickly. Speak and act with kindness.

If you or someone you know is struggling, it is okay to get help. Doctors, counselors, and agencies are there for you with available resources and training. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741), or message a trained crisis counselor through the SafeUT app. These support lines are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

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