An Interview with Kim Kettle

By Allison Peterson

Kim Kettle is one of many Licensed Clinical Social Workers who has a passion for helping people create a life worth living. She helps others find better ways to deal with their mental health issues. She received her Bachelors in Social Work from Brigham Young University and then went on to get her Masters in Social Work at the University of Utah School of Social Work. When asked why she chose to go into the social work profession, she stated when she was in high school, she was participated in student government. Throughout her years in high school there were a number of completed suicides and an incident where due to a peer driving intoxicated killed three other peers that all attended Alta High School. Kettle along with other class officers, and high school administration, represented the school at funerals, visiting with the families of those who completed suicide and the survivor of the accident where three other youth were killed.  She said that ever since that she wanted to help people figure out better alternatives and help them realize that they have so much to live for. “I have a passion for what I do because I believe everyone can change to create a life worth living.” Her specific training is in dialectical behavior. This is an evidence based practice that treats individuals with severe self harming, sexual prostitution, running away, mood and stability, inability to make and maintain relationships and tolerate stressful situations.

Kettle was always one to put smiles on others faces, and she still is. She grew up in a home where her mother graduated with her Bachelors in Social Work and a father who received a Masters in Public Administration. Given this,  her father was the Chief Financial Officer for Valley Mental Health for 35 years , she was raised with compassion for individuals who struggle with various so while growing up their family often did Sub for Santa. Kettle also had an aunt and uncle who were handicapped (blind and unable to walk). They lived with her paternal grandma and grandpa where they were cared for until their death. Kettle often cared for them and tried to make them as comfortable as possible. She loved the feeling that she got when helping others. She was always volunteering for anything she could get her hands on. She has always been very involved with her community and everyone loves her. One of Kettle’s services included sitting on the board of human rights for a company called TKJ serving adults with intellectual disabilities and mental illness.

Kettle has twenty years of experience working with children, adolescents and their families with mental health issues. While finishing up her undergrad she accepted her first job as a social worker in a nursing home.  She also worked on call at Primary Children’s Hospital as a trauma social worker. She has practiced social work in various capacities and is currently working for the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) where she is the program manager over a high mental health residential program for adolescent female residential program ages 12-17 with high mental health needs. She has taken over the division and is currently in the process of expanding the building. In this center they take girls of the state and help them understand that there is hope for them in their lives. They only take about 8 girls at a time and most of them stay a couple months. Kettle is changing these girls lives and helping them to create better ones. She states “There is hope and help for people who struggle with mental health disorders.”

Not only does Kettle run a division of UNI, she also has her own private practice. Kettle could possibly be the busiest person I know, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She has something going on every single day. She takes clients in for her private practice when they know their issues and they need help to execute them. She has been helping different clients privately for about five years now, and doesn’t plan on closing it anytime soon. She started seeing clients privately because of her expertise in working with people who are high risk of suicide, self harm and are difficult to treat. “It makes me sad to see an increase in completed suicides among youth and young adults because there is a different solution if people know where to go to get therapy and medication.”  She goes on to say “I believe in the kind of treatment I do and have seen it chance lives so I wanted to offer it to a private insurance population.”