(Good Things Utah) September is National Suicide Prevention Month and an important time to remind Utahns that there are new resources to help you or your loved ones.
Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention, help others in crisis, and change the conversation around suicide.
A new national 988 lifeline number is now available and connects people in crisis with trained resources to help them during times of crisis.
Utah is likely more prepared for the new number, and potential increased calls, with the national 988 suicide and crisis hotline. This is because the push for 988 came from Utah legislators and Utah congressional delegation.
The Utah Crisis Commission, which included representation from Intermountain Healthcare, has been meeting and planning for several years. The state of Utah created a statewide crisis hotline and took responsibility to fund and staff it.
People should know that there is help if they or a loved one is struggling. If you are in crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 9-8-8. It’s available 24/7, 365 days a year.
They can also utilize the myStrength app, use the “INTERMOUNTAINCOMMUNITY” free access code, and the app can help manage sleep, stress, pain, anxiety, and depression.
The free Intermountain Behavioral Health Navigation Line is available seven days a week from 7 am to 7 pm.
Research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks after them in a caring way. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.
Intermountain Healthcare has continued to build on the local hotline resource in response to growing behavioral health needs in communities throughout the state. This includes Intermountain’s Connect Care/Behavioral Health Hotline – the telehealth option for anyone in the state to use, said Doug Thomas, community health director for Intermountain Healthcare.
The Intermountain Behavioral Health Navigation Line, which originally started as a support line during the COVID-19 pandemic, gives Utahns a free resource to talk to someone about low-risk stressors to more complex issues, such as crisis and serious mental health needs.
Behavioral health counselors who answer the line can refer people to a variety of resources if there are needs for long-term help.
Expansion of Intermountain Behavioral Health Emergency Services includes Behavioral Health Access Centers, which are located throughout the state at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, and St. George Regional Hospital.
Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital also has a great resource for tweens and how to handle emotions by visiting TalktoTweens.org. Teenagers can also use the SafeUT app for resources, chat with someone, or as a crisis line by downloading it on their smartphones.
**This segment contains sponsored content