On 6/27/13 KSL UT did a special on the Motes family of Nephi, UT who lost a daughter to an accidental drug overdose from the drugs their daughter was using to self medicate her mental illness. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=25782911. The Motes live in a rural area of Utah. Not only did the Motes have limited access to psychiatric care for their daughter but, their insurance denied coverage. Their daughter, Emily, did eventually receive help from the family doctor for depression, however, the very medications that were meant to protect Emily from mental illness was making it worse. Emily had been misdiagnosed and in reality was suffering from Bi-Polar Disorder (formally known as Manic Depressive Disorder). Emily’s depression continued to worsen and she turned to heroin to self-medicate her pain away. Emily died at age 21 due to an accidental drug overdose. The Motes began to research community services and came across NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI helps parents, caregivers, siblings, and others learn more about the mental illness of the ones they love and offers educational classes and peer mentoring. Eventually the Motes opened a chapter of NAMI in Nephi where they are instructors.
Luckily residents of Salt Lake County don’t have the same difficulties in finding mental health help for their youth as those in Juab County. One of Salt Lake County’s mental health treasures of resources for teens and their families is Salt Lake County Division of Youth Services. Youth Services has many licensed therapists and case managers who are skilled at working with youth and their families. Our therapists and case managers can assist with mental health illnesses, thoughts of suicide, self harm, substance abuse use and addiction, ungovernable behaviors, anger management, self identity, low self esteem, and high family conflict. Referrals can also be made to Youth Services’ In-Home Services team who meet with youth and families in the home or to Michael Newman and Mary Gully who are Family Resource Facilitators.
Family Resource Facilitators are trained individuals who have family members with mental health disorders, substance abuse struggles, and/or other disabilities. They provide resources and referrals, and advocate on the behalf of youth and families in school and court settings. Family Resources Facilitators (FRFs) provide a team-based service called Wraparound.
Wraparound is a planning process that helps children and their families function more effectively. This process results in a unique set of community services and supports that are individualized for a child and their family. You can find a list of your local FRF by going to http://www.allieswithfamilies.org/ and click on “Find a Facilitator” or go to http://www.namiut.org/
211 can also make suggestions and referrals to agencies throughout Utah who provide a variety of services to individuals and families by simply dialing 211 on any phone. This service is free of charge. 211 referrals can range to Youth Services for ungovernable youth to Hope Clinic that assists the under and uninsured population to the Sharing Place that helps kids, teens, and their families cope with the loss of a loved one and so much more! You can check out their website at http://www.uw.org/211/