MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health professionals encourage conversation after West Bountiful teenager dies

WEST BOUNTIFUL, Utah Friends, family and students at Viewmont High School mourn the sudden death of a 16-year-old girl after a rock pillar fell Tuesday afternoon.

Madolin Morley was celebrating the end of the year with friends at a pool party in West Bountiful when the accident occurred. Her family is asking those who knew her to follow her example of her being a friend to everyone and thinking of others first.

A mental health professional told KSL it is essential to pay tribute to loved ones who have passed away, especially when it is in tragic circumstances.

“A lot of these kids this time of year are getting ready for graduation, they’re getting ready to move forward,” said Dr. Rene Valles, medical director of children’s services at Davis Behavioral Health

And an unexpected death can change all that.

“Sometimes it can even derail or suspend some of these goals that they’ve had, since childhood,” Valles explained.

The girl, 16, who died after a pool party accident, was attending Viewmont High

She said some of Morley’s classmates may be feeling guilty about the tragic incident and asked parents to keep an eye on them.

“Keep an open line of communication and check in with your child to see how he’s doing,” she said.

Valles said parents should encourage their children to honor the person they have lost.

“Their friend would like them to continue and live their legacy through them,” Valles said.

However, some teenagers may want to be left alone. The child psychiatrist said to keep an eye out for sudden and extreme changes in behavior.

“Are they isolating themselves from family, friends? Are they suddenly more irritable, angrier, not sleeping?

Valles suggests helping them maintain a routine at home since it’s summer vacation.

“Keeping on a schedule would be really good for people’s mental health. It gives them a sense of worth. It reduces anxiety and depression,” she said.

He said to call in extra help if the warning signs of mental health become apparent. Whether the students were close friends of Morley’s or just a classmate, they were in pain.

“They start to notice that, ‘Hey, I’m not invincible after all, and they try to help them understand that loss is kind of a part of life and something they’re going to be able to grow with,'” Valles said.


If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or showing warning signs, call, text or chat with 988 Suicide and Lifeline Crisis TO 988 which are answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. All calls to legacy crisis hotlines, including the old National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255, will also connect to a crisis support worker at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.

Additional Resources

  • SafeUT: Parents, students and educators can connect with an authorized crisis counselor via chat by downloading the file SafeUT app or by calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-3388)
  • SafeUT on the front line: First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, 911, and healthcare professionals can chat with a free licensed crisis counselor 24/7/365 downloading the Frontline SafeUT app.
  • SafeUTNG: Members of the National Guard can chat for free with a licensed crisis counselor 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUTNG app.
  • Utah Hotline: For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a week. year.
  • THE Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers a wide variety of programs and services including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospice care, medication therapy and management, substance use and addiction recovery, programs for children and adolescents, and maternal mental health services among including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • LiveOnUtah.org is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They offer resources for religious groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, gun suicide prevention, and crisis and treatment options.

Utah counties provide mental health and substance use disorder services. The centers are run by thirteen local mental health and substance use authorities across the state and offer therapy, substance use disorder treatment, support groups, mobile services, youth care and more.

These resources and more information can be found here: https://www.uacnet.org/behavioralhealth.

Other community-based resources

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