By Ollie Wilder, Community Impact Director
When Mary’s son James was a junior at a local high school, he had an unforeseen reaction to two prescription drugs. Over time, he became anxious and depressed, and eventually had a psychotic break. Since then, James has been in and out of hospitals, including an eight-month stay. He has alienated himself socially, can’t keep a job, doesn’t exercise or eat well, and has given up on his earlier life goal of becoming a pilot. Occasionally he decides to go off his medication, which can result in a police visit followed by admission to a hospital. He doesn’t think he’s ill, but is unable to move forward with his life, and his loved ones face fear, sadness, and financial hardship. You can read more about Mary and James by clicking here.
Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance
Creating solutions that lead to better mental wellness community-wide.
In late 2016, Park City Community Foundation sparked the creation of the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance.
Our goal is to plan and implement county-wide, systemic, sustainable solutions aimed at improving mental wellness in our community — covering mental health and substance use, treatment and prevention, youth and adults.
The initiative was launched at a time when the community was particularly ready to respond. The Summit County Health Department, in partnership with Valley Behavioral Health and CONNECT Summit County, had completed a mental health needs assessment survey that clearly indicated the need for change. In addition, the deaths in September 2016 of two thirteen-year-old boys due to synthetic opioid use shocked the community into the realization that something had to be done to reduce the likelihood of similar tragedies occurring.
We realized early on that these issues could not be tackled without the whole community involved. In close partnership with leaders in government, nonprofits, healthcare, and the private sector, Park City Community Foundation organized the Summit County Mental Wellness Alliance. With the Summit County Health Department acting as the initiative’s institutional hub, the alliance now has dozens of people involved in creating solutions that will make a huge difference in both the short and long term.