Once again Utah is top in the nation in depression. We’re 51st even… Did we finally liberate the great state of Canada? North Montana now? ;-)
Utah, why you so down, baby? You’ve got great mountains, beautiful national parks, and a huge lake. Sure, it’s one part stagnant salt water and two parts rotting brine shrimp, but it’s huge and attractive, from orbit. According to Bart Simpson, you’re the home of America’s most powerful weirdoes, and we even just convicted one. What more could you want? Is it because our state song is so, um… I very much regret ‘gay’ is the most descriptive word for it (see for yourself: I dare you to disagree. The old one was much better)? Is it that your state bird is the California Gull? We can change all that, dear. Chin up.
Okay, depression isn’t funny, but I don’t really know what to do when I see it and light-heartedness is my fallback position.
So what is wrong with us? Something in the water? The culture? That radiating, mind-altering meteorite buried deep below Provo? Sure, we have a low number of psychiatrists, but why aren’t our depressed folks pumping up the demand for more? Nevertheless, we already spend near the national average per person on mental health here. So why are there so many depressed in Utah in the first place?
It’s personally confusing. I know Utah can make me tense and anxious at certain times, and I know there are days I want to leave for friendlier politics. But this is a response to times when our legislature and local culture aim at my family and gay rights (something most Utahns don’t face, else I’d have Rob on my health insurance already). Sure, that puts me on edge, and makes us have to work harder here than we would elsewhere, but, even under those circumstances, never depressed. Heck, we moved back here because we love it here and we stay because we’re happy here. Utah really is "a pretty great state", really (If only I could afford to relocate all our family, friends, and national parks… ;-)). Apparently, though, I walk our streets with a bunch of sad folks.
It also seems we’re 45th in the nation in suicides per person. No state wants to be high on that ranking, and I hope, Utah, we feel a bit of motivating embarrassment to change our ways and help these people. I'll throw in a bit of time, attention, and/or money; just get us organized.