Mental health is an issue that is of great concern in south central Utah. 

In order to provide more information about mental health and relationships, Utah State University’s new family and consumer science professor for the Sevier County extension has offered his help. 

In addition to his background as a professor, Dr. Jonathan Swinton has also worked as a counselor — tackling many of the issues people face both on their own and in relationships.

USU provides research-based programs and resources to the community with the goal of improving the lives of individuals, families and communities. To that end, Swinton has offered his expertise. 

Swinton has published dozens of articles for print and online periodicals during the past decades, and has offered his services to The Richfield Reaper. 

In the coming months, Swinton will be addressing topics such as anxiety, relationship dynamics and suicide. His work is designed to help give people knowledge as they face the challenges of raising children, being in relationships and dealing with the day-to-day issues surrounding life. 

For example, this week’s piece is about the impulsivity of children and the risk factor that can play in teen suicide. Swinton discusses some strategies for how to help children and teens express themselves and avoid impulsive decision-making. 

While there is not one answer to the complex issues of depression, anxiety and suicide, there is value in learning about how to deal with mental health issues. The goal of the new feature, which will appear periodically in upcoming issues of The Reaper, is to provide some knowledge for people who are facing struggles. In other words, the aim is to convey a sense of hope. 

The Reaper welcomes Dr. Swinton to the community and to the paper. Look for his picture and accompanying column starting in this week’s edition on page 5A. 

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