SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — A bill known that would provide mental health care for health care providers has been reintroduced on Utah’s Capitol Hill after failing to make it through the previous legislative session.
If passed, "Scott's Bill" would be a first of its kind in the country, allowing doctors and nurses to get mental healthcare outside their own hospital system.
The change would encourage caregivers to seek treatment without the fear of losing their position at work or facing embarrassment, seeking treatment from doctors they work with.
The bill was named after Dr. Scott Jolley, who died by suicide amid the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill gained quick support from both Republicans and Democrats after emotional testimony from Dr. Jolley’s wife, Jackie.
She said her husband struggled with mental health as he sought treatment at his own hospital, and talked about his friends and family believed the embarrassment ultimately led to his death.
"It was extremely embarrassing. It was a lot of shame, and a lot of stigma associated with that,” said Jackie Jolley.
The was introduced in the 2022 legislative session but did not pass go through to the finish line because of time constraints.
Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Sandy) brought the bill back and hoped it would open the door to federal legislation that mirrors the work already done in Utah.
There is a new app in Utah to help connect caregivers with immediate and confidential help. For more information on SafeUT Frontline:
“SafeUT Frontline focuses on connecting Utah’s law enforcement, fire/EMS, health care providers, and their families with experienced, licensed mental health professionals who are trained to understand frontline workers’ unique challenges. Learn more.