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Crisis Teams Available For Children Struggling With Mental Health Issues

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The coronavirus pandemic brought on new trials for many Utah families. More children are experiencing mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, and social isolation, but many parents don’t know where to turn for help.

KSL is focusing on Kids in Crisis to arm parents with knowledge and resources. One of those resources is a specialized team called Stabilization and Mobile Response (SMR).

“We have seen families are struggling. They just don’t quite know what’s available anymore. They’re all home together,” said Kim McComas. “We see a lot of behavioral issues, kids who are acting out, getting into trouble, parents who don’t quite know how to manage them.”

McComas is the director of Children and Youth Services for Davis Behavioral Health. She also oversees teams that work directly with parents and kids who need extra help.

“Our catchphrase is any child, any caretaker, any problem, any time,” said McComas.

The SMR program is a crisis team that can help you over the phone or goes out to your home or school. SMR is available to anyone in Utah who has a child 20 years old or younger and it’s absolutely free.

“Anytime they feel like ‘I don’t know what to do, I’m at my wit’s end, I’m ready to give up.’ It could be concerns about their child being depressed. We get a lot of calls about ‘I feel like my child might be suicidal, they made some statements, or I found some notes.’ We get a lot of behavioral issues. ‘My child’s acting out. I don’t know what’s going on. They’re using drugs, they’re not going to school’ and concerns about anxiety,” said McComas.

If any of this hits close to home and you feel like you could use some help from a trained therapist, just call 1-833-SAFE-FAM. From there, an SMR team can give you coaching over the phone, links to resources, or send someone out to help you in person. You can also find information on their website.

“I see the stories of the people we help. I see the notes of the people who’ve called and they don’t know what to do and I see the thank you notes, ‘thank you for coming out and helping us today. I didn’t know what I was going to do instead,’” said McComas. “It’s really great knowing it’s available and that it’s available to so many people.”


SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES 

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the Utah State Crisis Line1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Additional Crisis Hotlines 

  • National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741 
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386 

Online resources 

In an emergency 

  • Call 911 
  • Go to the emergency room 
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