Over 23% of Utahns struggle with lifetime depression, and women in our state struggle with mental illness at nearly 2 times the rate as men (Utah IBIS). Regrettably, Utah’s teen suicide rate is consistently higher than the national average (Utah IBIS) . Nobody should have to suffer through depression or through losing a loved one, and having worked as a therapist for over 17 years, I know how hard it is for individuals to seek help for mental illness. This is especially true for people in rural Utah, low income families, and individuals in non-supportive environments. As your legislator, I would work to change the stigma behind mental illness, make mental health resources more widely available to all members of our community, and work to have insurance cover mental health issues, including covering yearly mental health checks; just as insurance covers yearly physicals.