Record editorial: Be your neighbor’s keeper during pandemic. It could save their life. |

Record editorial: Be your neighbor’s keeper during pandemic. It could save their life.

The coronavirus pandemic has pummeled everyone.

Some Summit County residents may have lost loved ones. Many have lost jobs, either temporarily or for good. All have lost preconceptions they carried about the stability of the world around them.

But how much more challenging has the tumult been for the thousands of us — friends, neighbors and children, police officers, accountants and teachers — coping with mental illness?

That’s an important question to ask. Even more important: As we begin the process of mending the local economy and take our first, stuttered steps up a long hill toward some semblance of normalcy, what can we do to ensure the people of Summit County are healing, too?

We live in a place where there are many people who have spent the last months considering that question. Organizations like Connect Summit County and the Christian Center of Park City have again risen up, delivering services like virtual support groups, resources for treatment during the pandemic and telehealth counseling sessions.

It’s a testament to the investment our community has made in addressing mental health, which has made us far better equipped than many other places to confront a moment like this. At the same time, though, it would be naive to think we have the infrastructure in place to help all who need it, or that all who need help will seek it.

The pandemic highlights the reality that, even in our community, much work remains. Even in our community, where immense strides have been made toward increasing open mindedness and awareness about mental health, stigmas and knowledge gaps nonetheless remain.

There are people in our community suffering silently, unable to reach out for a helping hand or unsure where to look to find one.

That’s where the rest of us come in. All of us have a responsibility, especially during a crisis like this, to be our neighbor’s keeper. Suspect someone is struggling? Speak up. Show them there are people who care. Lead them to resources where they can get professional help.

Be a light in their time of darkness.

It’s not hyperbole to say doing so could be a matter of life and death. Our collective effort will help ensure that, when we at last put the pandemic behind us, every member of the community will be there alongside us to partake in what comes next.

Help is available for Summit County residents struggling with mental health issues. Connect Summit County maintains an online database of resources and providers at The Summit County crisis line is available at 833-995-1295. The National Suicide Prevention Line is available at 1-800-273-8255.

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