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#JamesDonaldson on #MentalHealth – New Effort focuses On #MentalHealth Aid To Underserved Communities

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BY HEATHER KELLY AND BECKY BRUCE

Tammer Attallah, executive clinical director of Intermountain Healthcare’s #BehavioralHealth Clinical Program, speaks at the Intermountain Healthcare Transformation Center in Murray on Friday, July 2, 2021.

SALT LAKE CITY — Most of us know the #COVID-19 #pandemic posed an enormous challenge for #mentalhealth, but that proved especially true for underserved communities. 

Partnerships mean #mentalhealth aid for underserved groups

Now, Intermountain Health Care plans to team up with community organizations serving #LGBTQIA+ and #Latinx populations to make accessing #mentalhealthcare easier. A $67.3 million infusion of cash went to multiple groups serving those communities. Some of that money will help connect people who need access to #mentalhealthcare, but who face road blocks keeping them from getting it. 

“Understanding not only what the clinical concerns are but help them navigate through the insurances they might have, whether they’re uninsured, whatever those potential variable may be, to help connect them to the right service at the right place and time,” said Tammer Attallah, the executive clinic director of Intermountain Health Care’s #BehavioralHealth Program. 

#JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

#LGBTQ+ #suicide rates a concern

Utah continues to lead the nation in #suicide rates, especially among those in the #LGBTQIA+ population, according to Ray Bailey, youth #suicideprevention director at the Utah Department of Human Services. 

“Nationwide and in Utah, #LGBTQ+ people have higher rates of #suicide than the general population,” they said. 

Bailey attributed those higher rates among underserved populations to problems, among others, like family rejection and lack of access to #mentalhealthcare. 

Michelle Anklan, a licensed clinical social worker and #mentalhealth therapist at the Utah Pride Center, said even though #suicide rates are higher among the #LGBTQ+ population, #mentalillness itself is not. 

“We exist in a structure and culture and a system of oppression, which contributes to higher rates of experiences of #PTSD, of #depression, and of #anxiety,” Anklan said. 

#Latinx population also faces #mentalhealthchallenges

Demand for #mentalhealthservices among the #Latinx population increased 63% in the last year, but only about 15% among non-#Hispanic people, according to #Latino #BehavioralHealthService. LBHS, like the Utah Pride Center, received a donation or grant from Intermountain.

One concern for #Latinx communities is access to care. People who may be uninsured, undocumented, or experiencing #homelessness, may be less likely to seek help at all. 

Since the start of the #pandemic, a hotline for emotional support set up by Intermountain has received more than 6,500 calls. Now, it’s expanding to include virtual help and more resources. Anyone who needs help can call 833-442-2211. They can speak with caregivers to answer their questions, talk through concerns, and navigate challenges. 

photo of daughter hugs her mother
Photo by Askar Abayev on Pexels.com
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