8 truths about mental health you might want to consider

At the Mental Health America conference in Washington, D.C., Deseret News reporters have been listening and learning. Here are eight things that might surprise you.

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  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:26 a.m.

    @Nan BW ,

    While you have some interesting ideas; my experiences differ greatly. Growing up my family life was very stable, both mother and father dedicated to raising children. Lots of outdoor play (I lament now I can't go out for more than an hour without getting sun-burned; I used to spend hours upon hours outside playing every summer). Screen time was very limited as we only had one computer for 10 people. Even the TV was limited, as the age range meant different TV show interests.

    Wholesome in home cooked family meals around the table. (Fast food was like a once a month if even that kind of thing.)

    Lots of family events; outdoor camping, hiking, even farming (even in our urban lot, we planted gardens and grew lots of our own food).

    Yet, everyone in my family has suffered some form of mental illness or other (a whole alphabet soup of diagnosis).


    Yes, we should look at different causes; or even correlations; to help avoid some types of illness. But, more importantly we should end the criminalization of mental illness that is the common trend in Utah; and treat it as a medical condition, just like diabetes or cancer.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:17 a.m.

    Extremely long article that like others I can't read all the way through before feeling compelled to comment. Two thoughts up front.

    1 in 5? Yep way too low; but the statistic is probably 1 in 5 at any given moment. 50% more likely when measured throughout their life span.

    in regards to: "When Mayor Scott Fadness learned that his police officers had detained 157 people in 2014 because they were in crisis and at risk of hurting themselves or others..."

    We shouldn't be sending police at all to mental health calls; we should be sending medical teams. Sending out law enforcement and treating the mentally ill as criminals in all cases exacerbates the problems.

    Unfortunately in Utah officers don't stop with "detaining" they must kill or capture the mentally ill; when they get called out to a suicidal individual; a para-military SWAT team goes in; and they won't leave until they have either taken the person into custody or killed the person.

    They claim they are training the cops; but that only training I see double downs on the treatment of mentally ill as criminals. We need to send medical teams when a person is in crisis... not law enforcement!

  • Bee Hummingbird San Ramon, CA
    June 16, 2019 4:31 p.m.

    Very complicated. Work in MH and medication is always the first choice with clinicians and schools for kids which simply causes a myriad of other problems, and getting the right dosage is always a huge problem. A never ending cycle. Of course some mental illness diagnosis requires meds but more than not have seen group and talk therapy to be a huge help. Nothing like having individuals experiencing similar stress and life problems talking it out.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    June 15, 2019 8:59 p.m.

    There is a category for housing stability, but not one for having a good diet. That does not mean an expensive diet. Many nutritious options are not as pricey as less nutritious options. Eating a lot of green vegetables and root vegetables in lieu of fast foods is a good place to start to have better physical and mental health. And obviously avoiding drugs, alcohol and tobacco all help mental health.

    We will probably learn eventually that too much screen time is having an adverse effect on mental health too. My opinion is that when children had more stable homes with parents who encouraged lots of outdoor play time, simple home produced food and attendance at traditional schools, mental health was much better. Our high expectation, high tech lives are likely not beneficial to our overall health. There is certainly a lot to be credited to simpler lifestyles, more like our great-grandparents lived.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    June 15, 2019 6:29 p.m.

    No mention of the relationship between religion and mental illness. Why?