A new free mental health resource in Utah will visit children in their moment of crisis

Sep 8, 2022, 4:12 PM | Updated: Sep 15, 2022, 10:07 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain Healthcare launched a new mental health resource for children and teens. The Stabilization Mobile Response unit (SMR) is designed to go to your home in a discreet way to help your child in crisis. The service is free.

SMR services started in 2017 when Davis Behavioral Health premiered the service in the northern region, which includes Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Rich, Morgan, and Weber counties.

The service has now expanded to 15 of 29 counties in Utah. In-person SMR is expanding to urban and rural counties in Utah’s western region, including Wasatch, Utah, and Juab counties, as part of a partnership with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

Wayne, Piute, Severe, Millard, and Sanpete counties also will receive SMR services via telehealth.

Intermountain hopes to expand the program in the future.

The services are available to families at any time, any day, to help support you through your child’s mental health challenges. The goal is to keep families in their homes.

Heather Shotwell, Director of Community Based Services at Primary Childrens Hospital said in the last 10 years, Intermountain Healthcare has seen a 300% increase in pediatric mental health crises.

“We know kids are struggling,” she said.

Shotwell said you can call the unit to get help for any type of mental health problem.

“For some families, it’s ‘My 5-year-old is throwing a tantrum’ others are ‘My 12-year-old doesn’t want to go to school,’ then there are families that say ‘I’m worried my teenager is depressed,’” Shotwell said.

She said children experiencing mental health challenges are often taken to a hospital’s emergency room for treatment.

About 60% of the time, the child does not require hospitalization and is sent home.

Shotwell said SMR units can be a great resource for mental health problems. “The unit would provide the same professional support in a much calmer setting,” she said.

To reach the SMR unit, call 1-833-SAFE FAM.

Additional resources for mental crises

  • 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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A new free mental health resource in Utah will visit children in their moment of crisis