How To Save A Life: Jubilee of Trees Auction To Benefit Mental Health For Southern Utah Children
ST. GEORGE -- The 2022 Jubilee of Trees is returning to an in-person holiday event this year, with a special focus on supporting local children who are struggling with mental health needs.
Jubilee of Trees will be held at the Dixie Convention Center from Sunday, Nov. 20, through Tuesday, Nov. 22, and will support much-needed pediatric and adolescent mental and behavioral health services at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital.
The event, hosted by the Intermountain Foundation at St. George Regional Hospital, is a festive showcase of beautifully adorned Christmas trees and wreaths created by local designers, artists, individuals, businesses, and community groups.
Jubilee of Trees tickets go on sale Nov. 1. All trees are available for auction, and can be viewed at stgeorgeregional.org/jubileeoftrees starting on Sunday, November 20 at 10 a.m.
THE URGENT NEED
“Children and teens throughout Southern Utah are increasingly struggling with mental health, and addressing these needs must remain one of our top priorities as a hospital and community,” said Patrick Carroll, MD, neonatologist and medical director of Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Utah youth ages 10 to 17. One in six children in this age range have at least one treatable mental health disorder. It’s estimated that 40 percent of children who have depression are not getting care.
“We lose more children to suicide than we do to car accidents or to cancer. It’s staggering,” said Katy Welkie, chief executive officer of Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and vice president of Intermountain Children’s Health.
In the past decade, Intermountain Healthcare’s hospital emergency departments have seen a 300 percent increase in pediatric mental health crises. In 60 percent of those cases, children do not require hospital admission and are sent home.
“We’ve seen almost 1,000 patients in the past 12 months specifically for mental health reasons,” said Nathaniel Seck, DO, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital.
“Since the COVID pandemic, there’s been a significant rise in the number of cases of kids suffering from very severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm behaviors.
It’s a very difficult problem to see that many kids suffering,” Dr. Seck said. “We must to come together as a community, talk about it, and support our children and their needs.”
Enhancing behavioral health services for children is part of Intermountain Healthcare’s Primary Promise to create a model health system for children. Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital has also added several mental and behavioral health resources for children. Care is available in clinics and via TeleHealth.
Parents who don’t know where to turn for help can call 1-833-SAFE-FAM to talk to a trained professional to help with de-escalation and determine services that best fit the child’s need, including Stabilization and Mobile Response, a free service in which behavioral health specialists come directly to the home.
Intermountain St. George Regional also is working to create a partial hospitalization program that will include more intensive therapies for kids who need them, without an inpatient hospital stay. Proceeds from this year’s Jubilee of Trees will support this program, expected to open next year.
The partial hospitalization program provides behavioral health care to children and adolescents for a half- or full day, depending on need. At the end of each day, participants will go home to practice what they’ve learned, identify which things work well, which don’t, and return to the program to talk about it.
“There is a need for experiential learning with real-world application and in real time,” said Matthew Bradbury, DO, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach. In the partial hospitalization program, each plan will be individual, and each individual’s learning will be specific to their needs.”
Since 1983, the Jubilee of Trees has brought together community members from Utah, Arizona, and Nevada, in a holiday celebration to raise funds to advance community medical services at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital.
The generosity of communities in Southwest Utah has helped to expand pediatric programs over the years, including during last year’s Jubilee of Trees event, said Loriana De Crescenzo, executive director of Intermountain Foundation at St. George Regional Hospital.
“We are thankful for our community’s giving spirit, and invite residents to continue giving the gift of health and happiness to children and families by supporting the Jubilee of Trees, especially now when the needs of children are so great,” De Crescenzo said.
For ticket sales and more information about the Jubilee of Trees event, visit stgeorgeregional.org/jubileeoftrees.