Taking Time for Mental Health, and A Few Local Resources

By Deanna Rhodes, Executive Director, CONNECT Summit County

CONNECT Summit County’s mission to create a well-informed and stigma-free community with access to mental health services for everyone has perhaps never been more relevant than it is now. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the world. In addition to having the very real fear of contracting the virus, we have experienced significant changes to our daily lives as our movements are restricted to support efforts to slow the spread of the virus. Faced with new realities of working from home, unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends, and colleagues, our mental health and wellness issues have become more prominent concerns.

While nonprofits are critical to serving the county’s most vulnerable during immediate crises, they, and other groups that include mental health providers, also need support to meet the increase in demand for mental health services caused by COVID-19. At CONNECT Summit County one of the most significant challenges that we’ve encountered since the onset of the pandemic is how best to support our own staff and protect our mental health. CONNECT Summit County has moved nearly all of our events to virtual platforms, which has been exhausting and has presented its own set of challenges. Although we realize that the significant uptick in demand for our services is not sustainable around the clock, we also feel the responsibility to support our community during these difficult times. Within the organization, we have instituted an employee policy of allocating 10 percent of time for mental health and making sure that we are accommodating and flexible with scheduling, as well as encouraging people to take vacations and time off.

Please remember that the Utah Warm Line is 801.587.1055 and they are available for anyone who lives in Utah between 8am - 11pm. There is also a free Emotional Health Relief Hotline is available to anyone feeling emotional distress. The number is 833.442.2211 and is available from 10am - 10pm.