Mental health resources for U of U students

Aug 30, 2022, 7:27 AM | Updated: Oct 26, 2022, 4:53 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Navigating a new chapter as an incoming college freshman or even a returning student can be overwhelming.

At the University of Utah, mental health first responders are stationed at each dorm ready to listen and provide support.

It was move-in day for University of Utah student Ella Ashcroft.

“I was a little stressed out this morning because I waited way too long to start packing.”

This was her second time moving on campus.

“I know I like the people that I live with and it’s going to be fun having an apartment.”

And she’s feeling more prepared.

“I lived on campus last semester,” Ashcroft said. “It’s definitely a little bit scary. You don’t know what to expect.”

Ashcroft said the unknowns can isolate first-timers.

“Especially if you’re from out-of-state and you don’t have someone you think you can talk to.”

Dr. Torrence Wimbish with the Huntsman Mental Health Institute understands their challenges through his work as a mental health first responder, or MH1, supervisor.

“They’re going to have to navigate life on a large campus. Navigate what to eat. When to eat. Navigate when to sleep, navigating how to study.”

Dr. Torrence Wimbish with the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. (KSL TV)

Students living on campus can turn to his team if they’re struggling.

“We see students coming in with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self-harming thoughts,” Wimbish said.

Students seeking help after hours or off-campus, may not get immediate help, and that’s where MH1 can step in.

“It’s convenient. It may be 8 o’clock at night and they can contact the crisis line or Safe UT app or if they’re a student on this campus they can reach out to us and we’ll meet with them,” Wimbish said.

Wimbish added it’s important for students to recognize when they need help.

“If you notice a pattern, you’re having more sad days than usual or you’re having more anxious days than usual then that might be a sign.”

Students can talk to a counselor or a friend and take time out to re-charge

For Ashcroft, her bouts of homesickness didn’t last long once she changed her mindset.

“Now that I’m here. I’m super, super excited,” she said. “Go all in! Meet new people. Have fun. Don’t hold yourself back.”

MH1 is a free service for students living on the University of Utah campus. You can also access the SafeUT app anytime.

MH1 support info

Afterhours Support

  • 7 Days a Week (excluding holidays)*
    • Please note we will be closed on Sept. 1
  • Fall 2022 hours
    • Sun-Wed: 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.
    • Thurs-Sat: noon – 10 p.m.
    • On-site | In-office | Virtual
    • 385-321-5356**
  • The MH1 contact form.

Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or the Utah Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at Huntsman Mental Health Institute.

You can also text TALK to 741741 and parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.

Additional resources

  • Parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.
  • First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals, can chat with a crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app and members of the National Guard can access help through the SafeUTNG app.
  • For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call the Utah Warm Line at 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • At Huntsman Mental Health Institute, women can access maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  •, a campaign by the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition offers suicide prevention training and has resources for faith-based groups, youth, LGBTQ+, and Employers.

Other community-based organizations that provide suicide prevention services, support groups, mental health education, counseling services and support:

Additional crisis hotlines

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

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Mental health resources for U of U students