For the Record: What improvements to mental health and substance abuse treatment are needed in Summit County? |

For the Record: What improvements to mental health and substance abuse treatment are needed in Summit County?

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Christopher Samuels/Park Record

Each week, The Park Record asks For the Record, encouraging residents and visitors to weigh in on a topic of interest. This week, Summit County officials are continuing to look at the impact mental health and substance abuse have on the county’s population. A community-wide initiative to improve access and awareness to public programs has pleased county officials, though they also admit more needs to be done.

The Park Record wants to know your thoughts on the community’s effort to improve mental health and substance abuse treatment. Comment with your own answer below, or consider sending a letter to the editor.

Andrea Donegan, Thaynes Canyon
“Access. As far as I know, if you want to go to classes or go to Valley Behavioral Health you’d still have to pay a certain amount, I think $50 minimum to get in. A lot of people who do need the help can’t afford that. So making it more affordable.”

Hilary Packman, Park Meadows
“I’m trying to think if I know of anything that’s available. More knowledge (about services) in general, making it more available because I don’t even know of anything that people would even go to off the top of my head. It’s not well advertised.”

Tristan Painter, Evanston, Wyo.
“It needs to be treated as more of a priority I guess. In Wyoming, it’s kind of ignored, and we have the state hospital in Evanston so they’re starting to finally build more and add to it so they can treat more people. I guess just treat it as less of a taboo and more of an issue.”

Emily Leslie, Deer Valley
“Does (Summit County) have a rehab facility? I know there’s Valley Behavioral Health, but I think that’s kind of it. That would be a great idea, I think. I know Cirque is really far, in Orem. It’s really amazing, and I know Park City could use one.”

Mitchell Elliott, Thaynes Canyon
“Is there a (Summit County) hotline? That’d be a good place to start, you know? If people need to reach out and if they had a number they could call, I’m sure that’d be a great (change).”

Emma Helfin, San Diego
“I think the stigma surrounding it is a big thing. The legality issues when people don’t want to report (an overdose) because they’re afraid of going to prison is, I think, not the greatest way to handle it.”

Quotations have been edited for clarity and length.

Editor’s note: the following resources are available for mental health and substance abuse services:

  • Valley Behavioral Health Summit County crisis number: 435-649-8347
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline: 1-800-662-4357
  • SafeUT App
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255 or text LISTEN to 741741

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