Interviewer: SafeUT is a crisis chat and tip line app that provides real-time crisis intervention. But who's it for? How can we access it? And what kind of services does it provide?
We're joined by Holli Hjelm, SafeUT marketing and communications specialist. And let's just start with the basics. What is SafeUT, and how can we access it?
SafeUT: A Lifeline for Crisis Support
Holli: So SafeUT is an app that provides a way to connect to licensed mental health counselors. They're available for any size crisis or concern 24/7, every day of the year. And on the app, there are three different options available to get support, all of them being confidential.
The first one is called "Start a chat." And it's just like sending a text, really why the app was created. Utah has an unacceptably high suicide rate for ages 10 to 24. And within that demographic, younger people tend to prefer texting over calling. So the state recognized that along with Utah's unacceptably high suicide rate and really wanted to meet kids where they are, should they need support.
The second feature on the app is "Submit a tip." And this is a really great tool to report any safety concerns. Perhaps someone in school said that they heard a fight was going to take place, or maybe somebody posted on social media that they were going to hurt themselves or others. Anyone can submit a confidential tip, and SafeUT's licensed counselors will work with the appropriate school as needed. Immediately reporting concerns to SafeUT through this feature really ensures that information gets to the proper authorities.
So the third feature on the app is "Start a call." This feature instantly connects the caller to the Utah Crisis Line. And this is where a crisis worker will talk you through whatever is on your mind.
Who Can Use SafeUT: Available to Utah's School Community
Interviewer: You mentioned that this was kind of developed as a way to, you know, reach younger people where they're at. But is the app just for them? Or who are the types of people that can utilize this app?
Holli: The app is available to anyone in Utah who's connected to a school. So this can be young people, this can be students K-12 and higher education, as well as parents and guardians and educators.
And I do want to really highlight here that oftentimes when we hear the word "crisis," we think of something major. So when we say SafeUT is here for you 24/7 for any size crisis, we really do mean it. It doesn't have to be something big and scary. And everybody has a definition of what crisis means to them. So while we're here for those who may have suicidal thoughts, we're also here for those days when school or work really stressed you out. Maybe you're anxious about an upcoming test or interview. Maybe you're going through a breakup. Maybe you're not even sure what to do to help somebody you care about who is struggling. We're also here to support you support them.
Cost of SafeUT: A Free Resource for Utahns
Interviewer: Now with that kind of 24/7 access and everything, you know, we hear on podcasts and other things, some of these paid services for mental health, how much does SafeUT cost?
Holli: Great question. One of my favorite things about this app, besides it being an incredible service, is there's absolutely no cost. This is really for Utahns to use. The state legislature is doing a great job providing this resource for the state. And it's totally free for you to download and free to use. And we're really here to support you right away and help guide you to your next best steps.
Mental Health Resources Beyond Utah
Interviewer: That sounds like a great resource for people inside the state of Utah. But what about other people who might be listening who are not here?
Holli: If you are not a Utah student or resident, we would strongly encourage you to call or text 988 for the best mental health support in your area.
Interviewer: And where can people learn more and download this app?
Holli: We have wonderful resources on our website, safeut.org, where you can learn more about SafeUT and download it. Or you could visit the App Store on your smart device and download it there. If there's one thing you take away from this, I really hope it's to download the SafeUT app, so if you ever need it, you may think you never will, but in the chance you need it to support yourself or somebody else, you have it in the palm of your hand.
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