Commission will work towards a single, statewide mental health crisis line
SALT LAKE CITY April 11, 2017 – With Attorney General Sean Reyes, Utah legislators, and mental health professionals, and supporters looking on, Governor Gary Herbert ceremonially signed SB 37, as well as two amendments to suicide prevention statutes, moving the state one step closer to a statewide crisis line. Sponsored by Utah State Senator Daniel Thatcher and Representative Steve Eliason, along with co-sponsors Representative Carol Spackman Moss and Senator Curt Bramble, the new law creates a commission to consolidate local mental health crisis lines. By integrating existing efforts into a single crisis line, the commission is tasked to create a single statewide line connecting individuals in a mental health crisis with a mental or behavioral health professional easier.
“Today, we move towards a statewide solution for all citizens. Over the past two years we have been fortunate to work with a full team of state leaders and agencies to launch the SafeUT Crisis & Safety smartphone app for Utah students,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “This service has offered direct access to the world-renowned mental health crisis responders at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI). Since its launch, thousands of Utah students have reached out to UNI for confidential and anonymous two-way communication with crisis counselors which has resulted in saved lives and healthier youth. State legislators Sen. Daniel Thatcher and Rep. Steve Eliason, sponsors of the Student Safety and Crisis Line Commission, have also led the efforts for a statewide Mental Health Crisis Line Commission. Today, as Governor Herbert signs their legislation, Utah is positioned to continue to lead the nation in this critically important response to those in mental health crisis.”
“The end goal of this legislation is simply that a plea for help will never go unanswered,” said Utah Representative Steve Eliason.
“I have never known a world without 911,” said Senator Daniel Thatcher. “In fact, it is difficult to even imagine not knowing where to turn for physical crisis services. Yet, almost 50 years later, that is exactly where we are with Mental Health. We now know that a behavioral or mental health crisis can be just as dangerous, and requires a very different type of response. Utah’s Mental Health Crisis Line Commission is the answer we have been looking for.”
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