Nationwide mental health summit for teens brings superintendents to Pleasant Grove

Oct 8, 2022, 11:15 AM | Updated: May 15, 2023, 1:59 pm

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — Superintendents from all parts of the U.S. gather every year to discuss a variety of topics, and this year the gathering in Pleasant Grove focused on improving the overall mental well-being of students.

“In school districts, there is such a great need for mental health support but often that need outways the help that is available,” Anne Brown, Cook Center CEO said.

Brown helped plan this year’s summit which included a diverse group of 65 superintendents from 30 states. They came from all types of school districts, rural, urban, suburban, low-income, and wealthy areas.

“Having everyone trained, having everyone know the signs. That’s the only way we are going to make inroads for our students,” Kaya Jackson said. She’s the project director at the American Association of School Administrators. “Having everyone trained, having everyone know the signs – that’s the only way we are going to make inroads for our students.”

According to the world health organization, most mental health struggles begin approximately at 14 years of age.

Anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in school-aged children.

John MacPhee of the Jed Foundation said, “Schools are where the most young people are so it is the best setting for us to best support and best notice if a student is struggling.”

These superintendents are learning to spot the signs of struggling students and to help guide them through what’s affecting them.

“All students need a basic level of mental support in the school – not mental illness, its mental wellbeing,” MacPhee said.

As a parent, Esther Stowell said, it comforts her knowing that the superintendents nationwide are getting this training.

“It makes me feel a sense of pride knowing the people that are with our children the most, guiding our children, are doing their homework,” she said.

Utah Valley University hosted its own well-being and suicide prevention conference on Friday.

Retired California Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Briggs was the keynote speaker. He shared his experiences as the so-called “Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge.” In his 23-year career patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge, he encountered people and would encourage them to choose life when they were close to ending it.

The conversation for mental well-being in Utah will continue Monday at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute summit at Snowbird Resort for World Mental Health Day.

Some 200 organizations will participate to work on a shared message to help all communities.

Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call, text, or chat the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. All calls to legacy crisis hotlines, including the old National Suicide Prevention hotline, 1-800-273-8255, will also connect to a crisis care worker at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute as well.

Additional resources

  • SafeUT: Parents, students, and educators can connect with a licensed crisis counselor through chat by downloading the SafeUT app or by calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-33888)
  • SafeUT Frontline: First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app.
  • SafeUTNG: Members of the National Guard can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUTNG app.
  • Utah Warm Line: For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • The Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers a wide variety of programs and services including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospital treatment, therapy & medication management, substance Use & addiction recovery, child & teen programs, and maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They offer resources for faith-based groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, firearm suicide prevention, and crisis and treatment options.

KSL 5 TV Live

Healthy Mind Matters

(Laura Warburton)...

Emma Benson

‘Because of Hannah’: Utah mom who lost daughter to suicide provides resources for others

Laura Warburton remembers her daughter, Hannah, as a warrior.

16 days ago

SafeUT app...

Logan Stefanich, 

SafeUT app sees ‘record-breaking’ use in 2023

The SafeUT app saw "record-breaking" utilization during 2023, program leaders and partners announced Tuesday.

1 month ago

Kelsey (left) and Wendy Fayle (right) holding up a NAMI sign. (Courtesy: Wendy Fayle)...

Candice Madsen, KSL TV

NAMI Utah offers free classes for parents and adolescents dealing with mental illness

NAMI is offering free classes for both parents and adolescents that are dealing with mental illness.

1 month ago

YCC text messages...

Alex Cabrero

YCC Family Crisis Center in Ogden now accepting text messages

It is certainly not the easiest job out there. Amber Paaso will be the first to tell you she's burned out of doing it in the past. 

2 months ago

Dexton Obray was only 14 years old when he took his life in Monroe, Utah in October 2022. Since his...

Aley Davis

7th grade football player spreads mental health awareness after losing teammate to suicide

A 12-year-old boy is working to raise awareness after his football teammate died by suicide in October 2022.

3 months ago

Aron and Joe Tuia'ana (KSL TV)...

Peter Rosen

Utah man’s mission began on an overpass

Men are four times more likely than women to die by suicide. For Joe Tuia'ana that’s more than a statistic.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Nationwide mental health summit for teens brings superintendents to Pleasant Grove