Blog Post

Insight: Utah’s Mental Health Challenges are Significant, but there is a Silver Lining

By: Laura Summers

On August 14, 2019, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute released a report on Utah’s Mental Health System. This report was produced in collaboration with the Utah Hospital Association and provides a comprehensive review of the current state of mental health services in Utah, highlighting gaps in services, barriers to providing and accessing care, and considerations for improving the system. A few findings from the report include:

  • The demand for mental health care in Utah is increasing. Close to one in five Utah adults experience poor mental health and the demand for youth services is increasing. Suicide was the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 24 in 2017.
  • Utah’s shortage of mental health providers could worsen over time. Every county in Utah has a shortage of mental health providers. A newly expanded Medicaid program coupled with a rapidly growing population will intensify the effects of existing shortages.
  • Funding for Utah’s public mental health system is bifurcated across different systems, making it difficult to consistently deliver coordinated care. Chronic