Reyna I. Aburto offers encouragement and resources at annual Mental Health Services Awareness Night

This year’s annual Mental Health Services Awareness Night, primarily sponsored by Intermountain Healthcare, brought together Reyna I. Aburto, Desmond Lomax and local organizations to inform attendees of resources available in the community on October 20.

The event, hosted by Utah Valley University for the 14th consecutive year, consisted of guest speaker posts and booths with mental health resources from multiple organizations. These organizations included Encircle, Provo and Orem Police Departments, Narcotics Anonymous, BYU CAPS and BYU Comprehensive Clinic.

One of the main sponsors of the event and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, Kyle Hansen, said: “The purpose of the event is to make our community members aware of all the resources that exist to meet the health needs. mental.”

The conference was aimed at church leaders, teachers, parents and anyone in a position to guide others — or themselves — to help, according to Hansen.

Hansen said while the hospital provides excellent care for those who go to the emergency room in times of crisis, there is a lot to do before they get to that point.

“It is not an entity. This is going to bring all of us as a community — our organizations, our families, us as individuals, I think — to come together to find lasting solutions,” Hansen said.

Desmond Lomax, therapist and former member of the Utah Department of Corrections, and Reyna I. Aburto, former second counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explained how to help others with their mental health problems.

Aburto spoke about her experience helping her daughter through her journey with anxiety and depression and gave several suggestions on what individuals can do to support someone on their mental health journey.

First, she said to ask questions about how they are feeling in order to help them process their emotions. Then she said to ask them if they had thought about harming themselves or ending their lives. Although Aburto acknowledges that it is difficult to ask this question, mainly because the answer can be frightening, she said: “If they thought about it, we want to know. We want them to express everything they feel.

Aburto also said individuals need to validate the pain they feel, whether they understand it or not.

“You know, I’ve never broken a bone in my life – I don’t know what that pain feels like. But if someone breaks a bone and they tell me it hurts, I believe them” , she said. “So if someone tells us that they are broken inside, we have to believe them.”

Finally, Aburto suggested calling them to action, helping them identify the root cause of their emotions, expanding their circle of support, and directing others to their source of strength.

“I would recommend – if you’re a Christian, if you have other beliefs – to help people go to that deep source of their strength. Whether it’s faith, whether it’s love, or members of family, bring them to this source so they can be healed,” she said.

Janet Frank, media officer at Utah Valley Hospital, said there has been a lot of progress in society over the past 14 years.

“I think we’ve seen a progression of more and more people being willing to talk about it and investigate what’s out there and how it can help people,” she said. “We always get a great response from organizations that offer resources and we see new organizations popping up in our community that maybe deal with a more specific aspect of mental health that hasn’t been addressed before.”

Lesli Allen, BYU CAPS faculty member, spoke about the services available to BYU students and the resources available for those who need them but are on the waitlist.

Allen said any student in crisis can walk into their facility and be seen within the hour or call the crisis line to be connected with a crisis counselor after hours. Students who are not at risk of self-harm but are experiencing a triggering event can participate in the QuickCare program, which allows them to meet with a counselor once in the same week, according to Allen.

If they need more consistent care and are awaiting admission, Allen said there are two phone apps that guide them through modules and exercises, as well as case managers who help students find therapists outside. campus in accordance with their insurance. If students are struggling with co-pay, Allen said there are “special funds set aside for financial aid” to help them.

The BYU Comprehensive Clinic also attended the event to share the resources it has to offer.

The clinic is more focused on caring for the wider community, although it is also open to students, according to public relations representative Udim Obot. Obot explained that session costs are considerably cheaper than other community services — $15 to $30 per session — because sessions are led by graduate and doctoral students who are supervised by licensed clinicians.

Aburto emphasized the importance of hope when it comes to dealing with mental health.

“There really isn’t a magic formula to solve all difficulties, I think the formula and the method is to keep trying,” she said.

About Evelyn C. Heim

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