In 2017, Park City Community Foundation helped start the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance. Now involving over 200 committee members representing over 50 entities, the Alliance is already making progress on improving mental health and substance abuse issues throughout the county.
A critical milestone for the Alliance was the creation last September of the Summit County Mental Wellness Strategic Plan, which outlines key goals and strategies. Examples of projects already moving forward:
- Thanks to a generous donation from Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, Jewish Family Service has a new Spanish-speaking therapist providing services at the People’s Health Clinic, the Christian Center of Park City is hiring a Spanish-speaking social worker to help their counseling clients, and the Summit County Health Department is providing expanded QPR suicide prevention training.
- CONNECT Summit County is building an online database of mental health services and providers and is working one-on-one with many families to help get them into the care they need.
- Summit County Recovery Foundation has created a pilot transitional housing program to enable people involved in the criminal justice system to qualify for participation in the Summit County Drug Court, which helps participants stay out of jail, recover from addictions, and reintegrate into the community.
- The Communities That Care effort, which focuses on prevention among youth (and also received a generous gift from the Katz/Amsterdam family), has identified priority risk factors (such depressive symptoms and lax parental attitudes toward drugs and alcohol) and protective factors (such as opportunities for young people to be involved in the community and recognized for their efforts), and is about to select key interventions to help tackle those areas.
- Students in North Summit, South Summit, and Park City School Districts have formed mental wellness clubs in each high school, are sharing ideas county-wide, and have already seen success in preventing at least two potential suicides.
- Trainings in suicide prevention have been held in Spanish, with more to come.
These are just a few of the positive strides being made. As the strategic plan makes clear, it will take years, sustained commitment, and substantial resources for our community to truly change the mental wellness landscape. With the strong start we have, there’s every reason to believe we will succeed.
Want to get involved? Learn more on the Alliance web page, listen via KPCW to a recent panel discussion (part one and part two), contact Ollie Wilder at firstname.lastname@example.org, or donate today to Park City Community Foundation’s Mental Wellness Fund.