When I was 17, I finally uncovered the source of my depression. I was gay, and alone with my thoughts of what that would mean for me. I spent my junior year of high school in a self-imposed isolation due to my inability to process my depression. I sought help from my guidance counselor, who suggested I get help from a therapist, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask my parents, because I was not sure if doing so would force me to come out to my parents.

Alpine School District had 75,161 students as of 2015, and Alpine School District has only two full-time social workers as of 2017. These social workers are employed by Wasatch Mental Health which operates with Medicaid and they are licensed to conduct therapy with students as a free resource.

Medicaid expansion could allow for further employment of social workers to soothe the aching hearts of struggling teenagers and even potentially reduce the number of youth suicides. Many adolescents within the school system do not even have the option to receive private mental health treatment, and Medicaid expansion would give them the opportunity that I was so desperate for at their age.

Robert Gavin Telford


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Letter: Medicaid expansion could aid struggling teens