The Utah state mental health crisis hotline is experiencing a significant increase in calls for help while therapists are reporting an increase in demand for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marriage and family therapist Catherine Lundell told KUTV the pandemic has increased our daily stressors. “Any area that you might have had a little weakness in, you know a tendency towards depression, a tendency towards anxiety, it’s just exacerbated.”
Utah started October 2020 with near-record numbers of new COVID cases. As of October 5th, Utah had 77,618 total confirmed cases, with 3,980 hospitalizations and 478 deaths from the disease since March.
Dr. Lundell said the things many Utahns used to help them cope aren’t as readily available now due to the pandemic. “The things that used to be there to support us, school, and church, and playgrounds, and the McDonalds play tubes — the things we did to help keep our systems going, we don’t have that support anymore,” she told KUTV.
More and more people have been calling Utah’s Mental Health Crisis Hotline. “We’ve seen quite a bit of increase, especially with school returning and with all of the other concerns that are happening within our community,” Amanda McNab, a clinical staff development educator for the University of Utah Health’s Crisis and Diversion Services told Fox 13 television.
“While some concerns and crises can be handled over the phone, others need to be handled in person,” McNab said. That is where the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team comes in. “Our Mobile Crisis Outreach Team is made up of a clinician, who is a master-level mental health therapist or clinical therapist, and a peer support specialist.”
The goal is to encourage people to call the crisis hotline instead of 9-1-1 during a mental health crisis, Carlos Palomo, a behavioral health supervisor with the Utah State Crisis Line told Fox 13. “A lot of it is about diverting resources away from medical professionals and law enforcement and focusing a lot of those resources on the mental health professionals who can go out into people’s homes in a state of crisis and really help de-escalate situations and help people,” he said.
If you or a loved one suffers from a mood disorder, Recovery Ways is here to help. Our specialized mental health program is for those struggling with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mood disorders. Recovery Ways’ Mental Health Primary program offers profound and comprehensive long-term support. For more information, please call us at 888.986.7848.
SUICIDE PREVENTION SYMPOSIUM
OCTOBER 30, 2020, 9 AM–12:30 PM MT
$20 registration fee
Proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Utah Chapter
Recovery Ways is partnering with AFSP on a virtual presentation for professionals that will offer evidence-based treatment modalities effective in diagnosing behavioral health disorders, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behaviors.
- Safety planning
- Counseling on access to lethal means
- Caring contacts
- Safe care transitions
Suicide, depression, and addiction are very closely correlated, impacting professionals, veterans, musicians, and a myriad of other individuals. We will explore causes, theories, and treatment approaches for those who struggle with suicidal ideation. In addition, we will include treatment options for suicidal clients’ families.
Jaime Vinck, MC, LPC
CEO, Recovery Ways
Kim Myers, MSW
Utah Department of Human Services-Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health