You don’t need to be a news expert to recognize the truth – that Utah is experiencing an epidemic of depression, suicide, and prescription opioid misuse. But here’s one other truth. All of us can learn to take positive action to help make certain these issues don’t devastate the lives of our families, friends and loved ones. That’s why our stations are joining together to bring you information and resources you need to fight these very real but solvable problems. Because a Healthy Mind Matters.

– AM:HMM DOCTOR ADVICE – Tips to maintain mental health during isolation 1. Writing/journaling 2. Exercise 3. Gratitude (along with other tips/advice)
– NOON: LIVE INTERVIEW with Dr. Travis Mickelson, with Intermountain, addressing the anxiety we are all feeling, and how to cope, steps we can take to improve our wellbeing.
– 5PM: Heather Simonsen:SOCIAL ISOLATION – how to help your teen through the disappointment and isolation of social distancing.
– 6PM: Heather Simonsen:HMM ANXIETY – We are all feeling anxious right now, with virus and earthquakes, so what can we do to combat that? Heather is talking with a mindfulness/meditation/yoga instructor for this. She is offering online classes people can do from home.
– 10PM (1/4 hour special 10:15):Stronger Together Utah as part of it – given that experts say helping others is a key way to help with your anxiety.


TIPS: (Credit: American Psychological Association)
– Don’t allow your anxiety to overwhelm you. In order to protect yourself and others, act on reliable information that promotes your safety and health. Public health experts have advised us to focus on hygiene and limiting opportunities for infection. They have assured us that maintaining critical health habits such as handwashing, refraining from unnecessary physical contact and isolating ourselves when ill are the most effective strategies for limiting the spread of the illness. The media will use dramatic information to get your attention, so be sure to attend to important, less-shocking information such as the relative safety of people who are younger and in good health.
– Help others. Helping others eases our own anxiety. If you have a family member, friend or neighbor who is at risk, get groceries for them, offer to pick up their prescriptions, or call and chat with them. If you have a vulnerable child, find games for them to play, give them extra quality time, and listen for their fears so that you can offer support.
– Engage in basic self-care, such as keeping up an exercise routine.You may not be able to go to the gym, but you can still take a walk with friends, get on your exercycle, or do Pilates. There are classes and instructors online who can take you through an age- and health-appropriate home workout. If your routine is usually more vigorous, get out and run, ski, or hike. Just be sure to maintain social distancing.
– Emotional grounding or mindfulness is important self-care. Yoga or formal meditation are very effective, and you can find an abundance of guided meditations, visualizations and relaxation exercises online. There are many helpful phone apps available.
– Even when your place of worship is off-limits, spiritual or religious observance can greatly alleviate stress. The secular-minded have their own sources of spiritual comfort, such as music or other sensory esthetics. Go to the routines and things that usually bring you calm.
– Get the sleep you need. Maintain consistent sleep and waking times.
– Socialize in safe ways.If you are in a high-risk group, that may mean using your phone or FaceTime. If you are not high risk, get together with family or friends. Social support had been shown to improve immunity, whereas loneliness makes us more susceptible to illness. Be vigilant about physical contact and handwashing.
– Bring out the Monopoly game, or a set of playing cards.Take advantage of having time at home with positive activities like playing games or reading. Charades demands no touching!! Read a good book or do that crafting you’ve been too busy to get to.
– Be kind.Maintaining civility promotes the cooperative environment that will best serve both our individual and public welfare. Incivility breeds the sort of competition that can prove socially harmful, and tends to restrict public access to limited resources. We will get through this gracefully only by seeing to each other.
– Graphics completed and attached for each of the above tips (bold information is on the graphic and the other can be talking points or put in the posts)


– Visit for more information


Listen to Rebecca’s Feature on Healthy Mind Matters


Part 1: Caring for the Whole Person

Part 2: Understanding General Anxiety Disorders

Part 3: What You Can Do about Utah’s Opioid Epidemic

Part 4: The Impact of Social Media on Teen Anxiety

Part 5: Healing from Anxiety Disorders

Part 6: Preventing Teen access to Opioids

Part 7: Teaming up to Stop Teen Suicides in Utah

Part 8: How to Talk to Your Kids about Drugs

Part 9: Preventing Opioid Overdoses in Children

Part 10: Self Care & Caring for Chronically III Family Members

Part 11: Getting Mental Healthcare When in Crisis


MENTAL HEALTH While it is important to focus on your physical health – it is equally important to look after your health of your mind. Behavioral health problems can also manifest in physical symptoms. The goal towards wellness includes mind, body and soul. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S experiences mental illness in a given year.

It’s a serious issue that costs America $193 billion in lost earnings annually, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Bring up any questions you have to your family doctor, they can be a great resource of help.


Anxiety is a normal part of life. But anxiety disorders are different from everyday worries. These disorders include: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Panic disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also called social phobia Although the cause of anxiety disorders is uncertain, there are steps you can take to reduce the impact of symptoms and prevent anxiety attacks.

These steps include:
– Asking your healthcare provider for help early
– Learning to carefully manage your time and energy to reduce stress
– Getting enough sleep and exercising regularly
– Keeping a journal to understand what triggers your anxiety
– Avoiding substances like alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and nicotine


Depression is a common mental illness that impacts a person’s feelings, thoughts, behavior, and quality of life. More than 15 million Americans suffer from depression. It is estimated that at least one in six people will suffer from depression or a related illness at least once in their lifetime, meaning it is likely that either you or a loved one may face this challenge at some point.

Depression can be overwhelming to face alone. However, by recognizing the signs and understanding the side effects, you will be more able to recognize this behavioral condition in yourself and others and seek help from your healthcare team. Many of the signs and symptoms of depression may indicate temporary sadness or setback; however, when three or more of the symptoms persist for two or more weeks, you should consult with your doctor. Ongoing and lingering feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness are among the most common symptoms, often accompanied by a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy. If you suffer from depression you may notice a change in your sleep patterns, experiencing difficulty sleeping or oversleeping more than usual. Those struggling with depression may feel guilty, worthless, and helpless, and have difficulty concentrating on tasks, remembering things, or making decisions.

The most serious sign of depression is thoughts of death or suicide. If you are someone you know has made suicide attempts or is contemplating suicide, seek professional medical help immediately.


Suicide affects the lives of hundreds of families from the Intermountain West each year. Know the signs that someone is at risk for suicide, and get help if you experience them or see them in someone else. Help is available 24 hours a day—see the resource list on the back of this handout. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline lists these signs that someone is at risk:
– Withdrawing from friends, family, or society
– Feeling anxious or agitated, being unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time
– Experiencing dramatic mood changes
– Talking about wanting to hurt or kill one’s self
– Looking for ways to kill one’s self by seeking access to firearms (guns), pills, or other means
– Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
– Feeling hopeless
– Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger—or seeking revenge
– Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
– Increasing alcohol or drug use
– Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone else, call and get help.

In a crisis, you can use these resources: Safe Utah app which connects to local crisis lines. Lifeline: 1-800-273 TALK (8255) A 24-hour, toll-free crisis hotline that links callers to a nearby crisis center National Suicide Hope Line: 1-800-784-2433 Connects callers to the crisis center nearest to them NAMI Utah: 1-801-323-9900 or 1-877-230-6264 Connects you to local resources


Every day, 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose (this includes prescription opioids and heroin). 142 Americans die daily from drug overdoses of all types. Two of these Americans are Utahns.

– More than 33,000 people died from opioids in the United States in 2015.
– A prescription opioid is involved in nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths.
– 80 percent of people who use heroin started with prescription opioids.
– President Trump recently declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency

From 2013 to 2015, Utah ranked 7th highest in the U.S. for drug overdose deaths outpacing deaths due to firearms, falls, and motor vehicle crashes. Utah is the only western state that is consistently in the top ten for opioid overdose deaths.

In 2016, approximately 7,000 opioid prescriptions were dispensed in Utah each day. Some studies have shown that two-thirds of all opioids misused and abused come from family members or friends. Naloxone is offered in Intermountain pharmacies which can reverse a life-threatening overdose of opioids. Safe Disposal Leftover and unused medications can be a danger to children, animals, and for potential abuse. You can dispose any unused medications at any Intermountain community pharmacy. Over 15,000 pounds have been disposed of since 2015. There are also additional drop boxes at numerous city halls, health departments and police stations. To find the nearest drop box for you, visit .

Healthy Mind Matters Resource Guide

Suicide Prevention

English: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Spanish: (888) 628-9457

Suicide Prevention

Utah Department of Health info on the CDC Report on Youth Suicide in Utah 2011-2015UDOH Youth Suicide Report including the Study Report

Utah Suicide Prevention Plan 2017-2021 Prevention Plan PDFPrevention Plan PDF

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) – Utah

Apps to report suicide ideation for yourself or a friend:
– Safe UT app [iTunesAndroid]
– My3 App [iTunesAndroid]



National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI Utah) – (801) 323-9900 –

Substance Use Disorder

Utah Dept. of Human Services, Div. of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA) – (385)210-0320


Opioid Addiction

Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (treatment providers by county)


Opioid Disposal

Use Only as

Utah Poison Control Center – (800) 222-1222

Behavioral Health Resources

Utah Dept. of Human Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health


National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI Utah) – (801) 323-9900