Letter: We need to talk about mental health and substance abuse on a factual scale

A scene from My Life is Worth Living, an animated series about teen mental health. (Photo: Business Wire)

I am a health care professional and also a student at the University of Utah. For almost 10 years I have been in the trenches of helping people who are battling mental health and substance use disorders.

The narrative that continues to be spread is of the “not in my neighborhood” mentality. As someone who runs a transitional living home in Salt Lake, I have heard these types of comments from neighbors. There needs to e a more public platform for health care professionals to discuss what mental health and substance use disorders are and who is affected. Recent research has shown that over 85% of all people have been affected by substance use disorder. Whether that be personally, family member, friend or co-worker.

This is not a call to advertise or market my own practices but to give all health care professionals a platform to speak truthfully about these disorders. I believe your paper is a great place to start. Instead of writing just about statistics, we should be talking openly about personal experience within the profession.

I look forward to a continued discussion on this matter. Whether that be with The Tribune and/or the general public.

Dylan Dusoe, Salt Lake City

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