Jubilee of Trees in St. George to raise funds for mental health programs

The annual Jubiliee of Trees, hosted this year at the Dixie Convention Center, aims to raise money to help fund programs for children and teens in southern Utah who are suffering with mental health issues.

The nationwide increase in mental health issues among young people has never been more pronounced, with nearly 1,000 patients admitted to Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital over the past 12 months and a 300 percent increase in pediatric mental health crises reported regionwide over the past decade.

“Since the COVID pandemic, there’s been a significant rise in the number of cases of kids suffering from very severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm behaviors,” said Dr. Nathaniel Seck, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the hospital. “It’s a very difficult problem to see that many kids suffering.”

That troubling trend has area healthcare organizations trying to find ways to help, supporting various research efforts and funding multiple locally-focused programs. To that end, next week’s Jubilee of Trees, the popular St. George-area event that draws thousands to the Dixie Convention Center each year for Christmastime-themed entertainment and a Christmas tree decorating contest, is going to function as a fundraiser for mental and behavioral health services at the hospital.

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