Mental illness, depression consistently higher in Utah; NAMI hosts free classes, support groups

Photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images Plus; St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A recent report has listed Utah as being consistently higher than the national average when it comes to mental health problems, both in adolescents and adults. Fortunately for Southern Utah, the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Southwest Utah affiliate will be offering its fall session of free classes and support groups starting Tuesday.

According to the Behavioral Health Barometer: Utah, Vol. 4 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, while Utah has ranked lower than the national average for substance abuse issues from 2011-2015 (the most recent data available), the levels of major depressive episodes among adolescents and both serious mental illness and serious thoughts of suicide among adults have been higher.

The report also indicates the majority of those suffering are not seeking help. Of those adolescents reporting having experienced major depressive episodes, 39.6 percent also reported receiving treatment in the previous year, and 43.6 percent of adults reporting any mental illness received treatment.

View the full SAMSA report here.

As previously reported at St. George News, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has been committed to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illnesses through education, support and advocacy since 1977. The organization’s support and public education efforts are focused on educating communities about mental illnesses, offering resources to those in need and creating awareness helping to promote a promise of recovery to those affected.

As part of those efforts, NAMI-Southwest Utah will offer Family-to-Family classes and support groups, as well as Peer-to-Peer classes free to the community.

Family-to-Family classes offer a variety of topics to assist families in learning more about supporting a loved one struggling with mental illness. Peer-to-Peer classes are intended to help those who have a mental illness learn that recovery is possible. Both groups are run by trained individuals who have “been there.”

Programs include presentations, discussion and interactive exercises. Everything is kept confidential, and even though resources and information will be offered, NAMI will never recommend a specific medical therapy or treatment approach.

  • For the Family-to-Family weekly curriculum, click here.
  • For the Peer-to-Peer weekly curriculum, click here.

Both Family-to-Family and Peer-to-Peer classes meet at the Washington County Library at 88 W. 100 South in St. George Thursdays from 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in separate rooms: Family-to-Family in Community Room B and Peer-to-Peer in the Conference Room. Classes start Sept. 7 and run through January 2018.

The separate Family-to-Family support group meets the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the library’s Community Room B. The first support group will take place Sept. 5.

Course reservations are not mandatory; however, to ensure that all attendees are provided course materials, including class notebooks, reservations are preferred. For additional information, contact program director Pam Connors at [email protected] or call 541-331-0711.


Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • comments September 1, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I know a lot of LDS women dope themselves up on antidepressants so they can be “happy happy happy” at church. Probly a lot of them need to be medicated to get thru the 3 hour block every sunday, LOL. Drugged up to cope with the boredom and repetitiveness, and to be around fellow churchers that they don’t actually like. Am I right on the money or what?

    • AnotherReader September 2, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      @comments, your premise actually falls short in facts. Research shows that a strong faith and belief are actually protective factors that are more likely to keep one away from abuse than draw one toward it. If the 3-hour block was repetitive and boring to you way back in the day, you must have been doing it wrong. So sorry about that.

      • comments September 2, 2017 at 5:17 pm

        I know a lot of folks would rush out after sacrament, they’d scramble outta there like they’d been jabbed with a hot needle. they’d got their magic bread and water– guess that was enough for them

      • 42214 September 2, 2017 at 9:37 pm

        When the state has such a high percentage of LDS, you have to take the good and the bad. If there is an abnormally high incidence of depression and drug abuse in Utah, you can’t cherry pick and say it’s just the non LDS that impact the stats. Quite simply, if Utah has a low DUO rate the LDS can take credit. BUT, if there is a high percentage of depression and drug abuse in Utah, the LDS can take credit for that too. So, another reader, your vision of facts is sorely tainted by your obvious bias. Go make a quilt and stop trying to act intelligent. You fail miserably.

        • 42214 September 2, 2017 at 9:39 pm

          Suppose to be DUI, not DUO. Spellchecker got me.

  • 42214 September 1, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I think a big reason for statewide depression is the ridiculously high liquor prices and the hypocritical monopoly the state/church enjoy in reaping the profits. There’s probably a lot of truth in Comments observations as well.

  • ladybugavenger September 2, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I’m so tired of the word facts lol…..

    It’s a cult thing. You can’t live up to the church’s requirements and you gotta be fake so no one sees the real you…make sure you bring the beer through the back door…..not being true to yourself or others is depressing

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