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Concern for youth mental health grows in Utah amid National Emergency

A mental health national emergency has been declared by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association. The declaration is meant to be a wake-up call to parents, caregivers, teachers and governments at all levels.Utah has had its own mental health crisis for years, but the pandemic intensified it. CEO of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute Mark Rapaport says he has seen more kids coming to the emergency room and more using the SafeUT crisis app, meaning children’s problems are becoming more complex. He says he has no doubt that more Utah kids and teens are suffering and facing serious risks.


Rapaport says 75% of all mental health disorders begin between the ages of 10 and 24. In that same age group, suicide is the number one killer in Utah. He says the first step to confronting this crisis is understanding the problem, and more people need to understand that this is a serious problem.