FEATURE — Formed as a collaborative effort between the state of Utah and county commissions from Washington, Iron, Beaver, Garfield and Kane counties, Southwest Behavioral Health Center is committed to developing a partnership with Southern Utah communities to insure a healthy and drug-free future for its citizens.
As part of these efforts, the Southwest Behavioral Health Center has created five programs to help members of the community by focusing on counseling, employment, prevention, mobile outreach and emergency services.
The Southwest Behavioral Health Center is state licensed as a comprehensive mental health provider and provides outpatient individual or family therapy.
Outpatient services may include the following:
- Crisis intervention.
- Individual, group, or family therapy.
- Parent education.
- Skills development.
- Respite care.
- Psychological evaluation and testing.
- Psychiatric evaluation.
- Specialized women’s and children’s services.
- Coordination and networking with other agencies.
- Case management.
The center’s professional, experienced staff includes physicians, clinical social workers and psychologists, specialized adult and youth day-treatment staff, residential service staff, prevention and education specialists and a complete clerical and business staff.
Outpatient services are provided Monday-Friday and can be scheduled through one of the county locations.
As far as inpatient services, according to the Southwest Behavioral Health Center mental health webpage, the center coordinates inpatient psychiatric treatment at Dixie Regional Medical Center’s Behavioral Medicine Unit in St. George.
The unit provides a short-term structured environment for people, 12 years of age and older, with acute psychiatric needs while providing medical, psychological and psychosocial treatment. Southwest Behavioral Health Center’s staff work in close cooperation with DRMC’s staff on discharge and aftercare of clients referred to the unit by the center. Southwest Behavioral Health Center also manages 18 Utah State Hospital beds for individuals that require intermediate or long-term care and treatment
Meaningful employment increases an individual’s productivity, financial stability and self-reliance, and it helps promote healthy social interactions. Employment services at Southwest Behavioral Health Center help individuals gain long-term meaningful employment by identifying strengths, skills and personal career interests.
Employment specialists reach out to employers in the community to discover what their needs are in order to match a qualified potential employee with the business. Besides helping job seekers, matching the needs of an employer with qualified candidates in turn helps the employers eliminate the time and expense associated with the hiring process.
Prevention services are provided by licensed prevention specialists and other staff who work in each of the five counties under the banner of Southwest Prevention, a department of the Southwest Behavioral Health Center. They follow the “Strategic Prevention Framework” to create and track community change.
Prevention services focus on skill-building for the general public as well as businesses, religious organizations, health agencies, police departments and school districts and others. Services focus on relevant issues such as alcohol and drugs, suicide prevention, parenting skills, stress reductions techniques, self-esteem building and other life skills.
Individual programs and services vary depending on the county, ranging from programs that address the dangers of energy drinks and body image issues to underage drinking and identifying other behaviors and situations that put students at-risk. Check the individual county listings at the Southwest Prevention website for specific programs and services or more information on Southwest Prevention.
Mobile outreach and emergency services
Stabilization and Mobile Response Services is the Southwest Behavioral Health Center’s mobile outreach team, which is a free service for families with children and teens experiencing behavioral or psychiatric problems. The mobile outreach team offers home visits, parenting classes, a parent support group and a family behavioral contract, which consists of a meeting in the home to create a family behavior contract for each child. The contract lists each child’s responsibilities, rewards, negative behaviors, consequences and appropriate time-out activities.
Additional services may include safety plans, which are similar to family behavior contracts but include community members such as the child’s therapist, school and local youth centers; Wraparound, a service offered for families who may need additional support; or Youth Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which teaches youth in middle and high school to regulate their emotions, tolerate distressing circumstances in healthy ways and improve their relationships.
Southwest Behavioral Health Center also operates a 24/7 emergency response team in each of the five counties. Crisis staff members work closely with other agencies to manage each emergency, according to its website
To learn more about the mobile crisis outreach team or to reach the emergency services, call the 24/7 crisis line at 800-574-6763.
Written by HEIDI BAXLEY, Iron County Prevention Coalition coordinator, and LAUREN MCAFEE, Cedar City Library in the Park grant and development officer.
About the “Mind Matters” Series
As the Mind Matters series continues, we will highlight several Southern Utah mental health providers and organizations, as well as success stories, but if you or someone you know is seeking help or resources now, go to the following websites:
- Intermountain Healthcare St. George psychiatry and counseling.
- Dixie Regional Behavioral Medicine Unit.
- Cedar City mental health provider list.
If you or someone you know needs helps immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911. There is help and hope available.
St. George News “Mind Matters” series aims to illuminate how mental illnesses affect society and how to maintain mental health. Articles are contributed by Cedar City Library in the Park in partnership with the Iron County Prevention Coalition and will highlight available resources people may access in Southern Utah and online.
Read more: All the articles in the Mind Matters series
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