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Initiative aimed at connecting kids with the mental health treatment they need

Healthier Together: Utah Mental Health Collaborative
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Many teens deal with mental health struggles – either anxiety or depression or something more. Often those things go undiagnosed and untreated.

 But there’s a program in Utah trying to help change that. It's called the Utah School Mental Health Collaborative, a statewide University of Utah initiative supported by Regence BlueCross BlueShield’s charitable arm, Cambia Health Foundation.

Dr. Aaron Fischer, faculty member of the College of Education at the U of U, says kids learn better when they are healthy and well, physically and mentally.

"I think everyone is experiencing some form of impact to our mental health and our youth are really experiencing those things,” said Dr. Fischer.

This program screens the mental health of children right in their schools and then connects them to services, when needed.

They hope to make screening for mental health issues as commonplace as screening for vision, hearing, and reading in schools, addressing any potentially issues early.

The program has been at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education for six years.

Principal Britnie Powell says her school is a small community with a focus on science, but that they try to address all the needs of children, including mental health.

She says the Utah School Mental Health Collaborative takes away the stigma.

"It removes barriers for students accessing mental health services they need," Powell says.

Click here to connect to the Utah School Mental Health Collaborative. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.