Mental health and substance use are top concerns for our community. In response, Intermountain is focused on expanding access to care, reducing access to lethal means, and promoting protective attitudes and social norms. Together we can improve the mental well-being of our community.

Affordable Care

Access to Effective and Affordable Care

Intermountain’s values include providing quality, affordable, and timely behavioral healthcare. In 2011, the Behavioral Health Network (BHN) system was developed to provide free behavioral health visits - including substance use disorder treatment and medication management - to uninsured and underinsured community members. We continue to expand this system and the diversity of the partners involved. We are also expanding our community health collaborations to increase access to medication assisted treatment for substance use disorders. 

Providing virtual connection to behavioral health services is essential in this work. Telebehavioral health allows us to reach underserved populations (especially in rural areas) more effectively and to treat them in the comfort and privacy of their homes, reducing the need to arrange time off work, transportation, and childcare. In 2020, Intermountain launched the Behavioral Health Navigation Service and Connect Care Behavioral Health. In the near future, these digital platforms will be expanded to provide even more comprehensive and far-reaching services to improve behavioral health access and navigation. 

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Reducing Access

Reducing Access to Lethal Means

By promoting firearm safety, reducing the number of opioid prescriptions in the community, and distributing naloxone (a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose), we can reduce the rates of death by drugs, alcohol, and suicide in the Mountain West. 

Since the start of our opioid work in 2015, we have reduced the number of pills prescribed by 9.5 million. In addition, we have helped distribute over 4,000 naloxone kits to reduce opioid mortality. These preventive efforts will grow and expand in coordination with our community partners.

In similar upstream fashion, preventing suicide necessitates a focus on firearms, which are the most common and lethal method of suicide in our region. Intermountain’s “Counseling on Access to Lethal Means” (CALM) course has taught over 1,000 Utah clinicians how to discuss safe storage of firearms and medications with patients. Free cable gun locks and suicide prevention tools are now widely available in pharmacies, hospitals, health clinics, and other organizations across the state. Since August 2019, we have distributed over 30,000 gun locks. This work is done in collaboration with Utah gun owners and advocates.
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Social Norms

Promoting Protective Attitudes and Social Norms

Our knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors about behavioral health can dramatically affect the likelihood that we—and our friends and family—receive needed support. With 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiencing a behavioral health issue, no person should feel alone. We are committed to normalizing the culture around behavioral health and raising up the voices of those with lived experience.

We have partnered with government officials, faith, healthcare, and other community leaders to support the Live On campaign. This statewide effort aims to promote education, provide resources, and reduce stigma around mental illness.

To address substance misuse, we have partnered with the State of Utah to support a three-year statewide media campaign called, “Use Only As Directed.” A new three-year campaign, “Know Your Script,” is now underway.

Additionally, we have supported and developed extensive mental health trainings to reduce stigma, enhance knowledge, and encourage people to seek help. Our training efforts have reached nearly 30,000 community members and Intermountain caregivers. We will continue to expand our training offerings and ensure they are accessible to all community members who wish to participate.

 

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Equitable Future

Creating an Equitable Future in Behavioral Healthcare

Underrepresented groups are more likely to experience persistent and severe mental illness and encounter barriers when accessing critical services and supports. We are addressing these inequities by:

  • Engaging in intentional consultation and collaboration with community partners who provide services to marginalized and underrepresented populations
  • Expanding our Behavioral Health Networks to include broader partnerships with organizations serving underrepresented populations
  • Tailoring public campaigns to the needs and preferences of diverse communities
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    Social Determinants

    Addressing Social Determinants of Health

    Social determinants of health are the non-medical factors that affect health, such as housing instability, utility needs, food insecurity, interpersonal violence, and transportation needs. Individuals with behavioral health issues are more likely to have unmet social needs, and people with unmet social needs are more likely to have unmanaged behavioral health issues.

    In partnership with the Alliance for the Determinants of Health, we will be advancing multi-level, mutually-reinforcing interventions that can prevent, address, and mitigate concurrent social and behavioral health needs.

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    Alliance for the Determinants of Health

    The Alliance for the Determinants of Health is a community collaboration formed to impact the affordability of healthcare, improve participants’ well-being, and be a model for change by addressing social determinants of health.