Sloane Johnson was born and raised in Park City, Utah. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Montana State University. Sloane has spent her nursing career healing and helping care for patients in the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Utah hospital, the Emergency Department at Park City Hospital, Deer Valley Ski Clinic and post-operative units at various facilities. Through her experience as a nurse, she saw the devastation that lack of mental wellness has taken on our community. By way of the Mental Wellness Fund, she supported two grants to organizations that are tackling these issues head on.
Q: Why is mental wellness important to you?
A: I’ve spent my nursing career healing and helping to care for patients in the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Utah hospital, the Emergency Department at Park City Hospital, Deer Valley Ski Clinic, post-operative units, and now running my own business Two Hearts Concierge care.
Through my work as a nurse in the Emergency Room, the Summit County Jail and in my Concierge nursing business I have felt we our community has a great need for mental health services. For many people, it is difficult to connect them with the services that can help them with their mental wellness. Often, I sent patients home wishing there were more resources out there to help them.
One story I saw over and over again working in the jail was an athlete or weekend warrior would get injured participating in something that they love, followed by surgery and addiction to pain pills. When the prescription or money ran out, they would turn to heroin, which is less expensive, and then with a full-on opioid addiction, they would commit a crime like stealing or dealing.
Many of these addicts are good people who need help. We are just allowing them to serve their time and then putting them back into the community to repeat the cycle. We can help these people be a participating partner in our community. I feel like our community will benefit greatly from the work that is being done by the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance and Park City Community Foundation.
While this is one example, the problem is all around us. Regardless of socio-economic level, there are no boundaries to mental illness. So many people feel shame and fear and they don’t seek help when they need it. While we have started the process, we can definitely do more.
Q: Tell us about the grant to CONNECT Summit County.
A: CONNECT is bringing awareness to mental wellness and helping people find the resources that they need. They are making strides to reduce the stigma that comes with talking about mental wellness. They are doing amazing things. There are a lot more people than we know who are struggling and they have a big job ahead of them. The grant to CONNECT Summit County will assist their work on public awareness/education, to decrease stigma and increase understanding around mental health.
One of the ways CONNECT works to create a stigma-free community is by increasing awareness and understanding of mental health issues through quality educational programming. They plan to invite prominent speakers and schedule programming throughout the year, with a particular emphasis placed on the execution of multiple programs during May Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal in 2018 is to offer tangible takeaways at the conclusion of each event.
Q: Tell us about the grant to Summit County Recovery Foundation.
A: The Summit County Recovery Foundation was founded to support the financial needs of participants in Summit County’s Drug Court. In addition to Drug Court commitment, SCRF is dedicated to the support, education and advocacy for individuals and families as they confront – and recover from – the diseases of drug/alcohol addiction.
The majority of their philanthropic dollars are dedicated to supporting Drug Court participants and their financial needs. This year, Drug Court almost doubled – from 11 to 21 participants. SCRF’s ability to earmark dollars for “jail-to-Drug-Court transition” has greatly supported that growth.
When a Drug Court candidate is identified, the individual is often without a home, clothing, transportation or even food. SCRF funds the jail-to-Drug Court costs for many of our participants – $800-$900 for a month of support. Then, they help with finding employment, a cell phone (to keep in touch with Summit County Drug Court officers), work clothing, and more.
Q: What is it about Park City Community Foundation that you love?
A: It is important to me to give back. My experience being a nurse has shown me where the need is, but these other organizations are the experts on how we address the issue. Park City Community Foundation does the checks and balances so that I can be confident in knowing that this money will be used for the greatest good and benefit the community as a whole. My goal when I started my business was to give back to the community and Park City Community Foundation is helping me make sure that the money is going to the right place.