Authored by: Jillian Hill, Prevention Supervisor
With 609 recorded suicides in 2015, Utah has the 5th highest suicide rate in the nation. In 2015, 16% of surveyed youth living in Salt Lake County had seriously considered suicide, 13% made a plan, and 8% attempted to end their life. Additionally, LGBTQ+ individuals report significantly higher rates of depression and suicide attempts than the general population. Youth of all identities can experience increased barriers to receiving support for depression.
Many youth are not comfortable reaching out to adults (parents, school personnel, etc.) when they are struggling. Sometimes their concerns are dismissed or they receive an overreaction. Instead, youth will turn to their friends to help them through a crisis.
What to do if you are worried about someone you know attempting suicide:
1. Ask them directly, “Are you thinking of taking your life?” If it’s in your mind that they might hurt themselves, they’ve probably thought of it too. You are not giving them a suggestion or increasing the chance they will act by talking about suicide directly.
2. Get help together. Never puicromise to keep someone’s thoughts of suicide a secret. You cannot keep someone alive all by yourself. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or download the SAFE UT app and text someone. If they have already done something to hurt themselves, call 911 immediately.