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An Overview of Mental Health in Lehi, Utah
The state of Utah faces a variety of issues that combine to create a mental health crisis. In recent years, it has seen rates higher than the national average in problems like suicide, opioid abuse and overall mental illness. Mental Health America put together a list ranking each state on its prevalence and handling of mental health. In 2019, Utah came in at number 44 overall.
Each area has its own circumstances that affect the mental health of its residents, which is why it’s important to zoom in to a local level to understand just what is going on statewide. One community familiar with these challenges is Lehi, Utah.
Lehi at a Glance
Lehi in Utah County is a part of the Provo-Orem metropolitan area, with a population of 62,712 in 2017. The city has an economy based on industries like construction; information; and science and tech services, as home to such companies as Adobe Inc. and Intel Corporation. The median income in 2017 was just under $86,000, with per capita income at just under $26,000. The poverty rate is 5.8 percent, and unemployment was 3 percent in 2015.
Mental Health in Lehi
Although there are other mental illnesses contributing to the nation’s mental health crisis, depression is one of the most common and debilitating. In fact, the World Health Organization reports that depression is the biggest cause of disability across the globe. It is also a common comorbidity of other mental illnesses. With these points in mind, depression rates may be a good indicator of the overall rate of mental illness.
The Utah Department of Health stated that from 2015 to 2017, 22.6 percent of adults in Lehi reported having experienced some type of depression during their lifetime. This is higher than the state rate of 21.6 percent during the same time period. It also reported that in 2017, the national percentage was 19.3.
However, depression is just one piece of the puzzle. There are other factors at play in the overall mental health of Lehi.
The suicide rate in Utah has been consistently higher than the national rate in recent years. A report from the Utah Department of Health lists suicide rates from the years 2015 to 2017. During that time, the US had a suicide rate of 13 per 100,000 people, while Utah saw a rate that was almost triple at 22 suicides per 100,000 people. The same report stated that Lehi had a rate of 17.8. While better than the state rate, the city’s rate was still higher than the Utah County rate of 16.5, as reported by another source in 2015.
Utah is struggling with the opioid epidemic that is also facing many other areas of the United States. During the years 2013 to 2015, Utah had a rate of 21 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people. In Utah County, the rate was 16 per 100,000. Although the rate per 100,000 was much lower than other counties, Utah County had the second-highest overall number of overdose deaths at 272.
The good news is that steps are being taken in the Lehi area to combat the opioid problem. In the fall of 2018, it was announced that Utah County would be following the lead of other counties in Utah and nationwide in bringing a lawsuit against some of the major pharmaceutical companies. The lawsuit accuses the companies of downplaying the extremely addictive nature of opioid painkillers, and seeks financial compensation for the affected counties, as well as assistance in creating actionable solutions for the drug epidemic.
Resources in Lehi
Depression, suicide and opioid addiction are scary and serious issues to face, but know that you are not alone. As seen above, there are many others trying to cope with the same problems. However, there is help available in Lehi.
- Sobernation has a list of substance abuse treatment and rehab facilities in Utah County.
- The Utah County Health Department website also has an extensive list of health resources for needs ranging from mental illness, substance abuse, health insurance, homelessness and more.
For help finding a mental health professional near you, E-Counseling may be of interest. The site is an online directory designed to search for therapists and other professionals that meet your specifications. It’s possible to take the first step right now toward a happier and healthier life.