Representative Darlene Judd of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a national grassroots mental health organization with 1,000 affiliates in the U.S., came before the Kanab City Council at their August 28 meeting looking to garner more exposure for the new local affiliate. She reported that the state of Utah has the eighth highest suicide rate in the country, and that Kane County has a suicide rate four times the national average of all counties in the U.S.

Judd added, “Nearly all (90%) of suicide victims have mental illnesses that can be diagnosed and treated, but most of these people never seek help of any kind. The stigma of the diagnosis of being mentally ill keeps people from getting any kind of help. These people will suffer silently, often until it is too late to help them.”

Seven Kanab-Fredonia residents attended training sessions in Salt Lake City, covering their own expenses, to learn effective ways to help and respectfully support individuals and families facing the difficulties of stressful emotional situations. Judd pleaded, “We want to get the word out that help is available in our community to anyone suffering from a mental illness, just as it is for physical illnesses. We’re asking the leaders of our community to help get the word out about NAMI and to assist in removing the stigma associated with the term ‘mental illness’.”

For more information about NAMI, you can call Darlene at 899-9335 or Linda at 899-1170. Southwest Behavioral Health Center, with professional mental health personnel, is also available in Kanab.

Tom Avant, an associate of Thebeau Consulting, came before the council to request a plat change combining two adjacent lots in the Kanab Creek Ranchos subdivision. His client lives on Lot 442 and wanted to add Lot 443 to make one .63 acre Lot 442A on the corner of Vance and Chamberlain Drives. After some public discussion, the council voted to accept the proposal. This gives her a modest tax break, but also prevents her from selling the vacant lot in the future.

Councilman Jim Sorensen, acting as mayor pro-tem in the absence of Mayor Laycook, reminded everyone of upcoming events.

Award winning documentaries will be presented at the Crescent Moon Theater and Bingham Gallery in Mt. Carmel between Sept. 5-9 as part of the Docutah Film Festival. This event is growing in notoriety and the films can be seen at no cost, thanks to the CEBA footing the bill.

The Grand to Grand Ultra-marathon run will cover 160 miles from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the base of the Pink Cliffs in the Grand Staircase-Escalante NM in late September. Matt Brown, Kane County Economic Development Director, is presently in France on a self-funded trip to glean information on that country’s Ultimate Marathon for which winners of the Grand to Grand can win points toward entering that prestigious race.