Intermountain Healthcare

What we know about minority mental health in Utah

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(GTU) – July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness and in Utah, there is a lot of work being done throughout the state and at Intermountain Healthcare to enhance the mental wellbeing of all Utahns, including Utah’s diverse communities and populations.

Utah has already demonstrated the need to increase mental health resources as the state ranks last for behavioral health access in the country, according to a 2019 Gardner Institute Policy Report. The mental health effects related to COVID are profound and long-term effects are not yet fully known.

The Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) continues to see a year-over-year increase in the number of people seeking out behavioral health services. DSAMH saw the biggest increase in telehealth services in the first quarter of 2020. Between March 2020 and March 2021, clients using telehealth services jumped from 234 to 14,006.

The barriers to mental health care are difficult to overcome for minority populations in Utah. From 2017 to 2019, the rate of unmet need for mental health services increased by 63% among Hispanic people, while increasing by 15% among non-Hispanic, according to Latino Behavioral Health Service (LBHS).

Intermountain Healthcare recently announced $67 million in contributions and/or grants to community partners to address vital mental health access and help for minority populations.

These resources were given to the advocates for our diverse populations and underserved communities. Intermountain has made mental health access and resources a pillar of our community health workers. As well as greatly increasing our work towards addressing health disparities among communities.

Victoria Holmes, Community Health Specialist for Intermountain

LBHS is one of the organizations that received a donation/grant from Intermountain. LBHS has been working to address mental health disparities among the Hispanic and LatinX communities in Utah.

The barriers to mental health care are difficult to overcome for this community. From 2017 to 2019, the rate of unmet need for mental health services increased by 63% among Hispanic people, while increasing by 15% among non-Hispanic, according to LBHS.

The problem becomes more alarming for at-risk Hispanic/Latinx members of the community, such as those who are uninsured, undocumented, and people experiencing homelessness, as they are less likely to seek help.

Intermountain Healthcare has a Behavioral Health Navigation Line (833-442-2211) that was launched in April 2021. Intermountain also launched the Connect Care Behavioral Health telehealth program. The video visit works to provide an option to speak to someone without waiting for an in-person visit and a provider.

This service will get a caregiver on the line to help navigate the challenges of speaking about your mental health concerns. It can be a valuable resource to breaking the stigma of getting help. Anyone can call, and we have translation services in dozens of different languages.

Victoria Holmes, Community Health Specialist for Intermountain

Intermountain’s Behavioral Health Navigation Line is available 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm.

Call 833-442-2211 and speak to someone to get the much-needed help.

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