mental illness

Juliet Fletcher / Council of State Governments Justice Center

A new report recognizes Salt Lake County for its efforts in criminal justice reform, but researchers found weaknesses in how it handles offenders with behavioral health disorders.

Researchers at the University of Utah are exploring an alternative therapy for treating severe depression.  A pilot study suggests that the anesthetic gas isoflurane commonly used during surgery could be used as an antidepressant. 

Mental illness is often difficult for people to talk about, but especially hard if you don’t speak the same language as your health provider. Community groups are coming together in Salt Lake City’s Rose Park neighborhood Tuesday to raise awareness about minority mental health. 

Mary Burchett is the Outreach Specialist for the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI in Utah, an organization that provides free education, support and advocacy. She says minorities in Utah have particular challenges.

Few Gun Transactions Denied for Mental Illness

Dec 19, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

Utah law as well as federal law requires a background check to buy any kind of firearm, and the state can deny a purchase based on a person's history of mental illness. But that happens only rarely. Dwayne Baird with the Utah Department of Public Safety says someone who's been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity would be ineligible, or others whose history of violence has been certified by a district court.

Dan Bammes

Utah's attorney general-elect says he's heartsick about last week's school shooting in Connecticut.  John Swallow tells KUER he's committed to doing everything he can to protect kids in schools, short of turning schools into prisons. 

Swallow says he's already been talking to officials in other states, working on a plan to get together discuss what they can do to address mass shootings and gun violence.  While he says the Constitution needs to be protected, Swallow says they need to take a close look at one area of the law.