DAVE & DUJANOVIC

After daughter’s suicide attempt, mom wants to give kids tools to break free

Aug 19, 2021, 4:03 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 2:45 pm
suicide...
A park bench was donated by Josh's Benches for Awareness, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and promoting resources for suicide prevention. (Photo credit: WQAD via CNN)
(Photo credit: WQAD via CNN)

SALT LAKE CITY — In normal times, mental health problems that lead to suicide can be overlooked. And with kids heading back to school after going through more than a year in a pandemic, it can be of even greater concern.

In Utah, suicide is the No. 1 cause of death for young people age 10-24 and the No. 2 cause for people age 25-44.

Here, a mother shares the story of her daughter’s suicide attempt and what she is doing to prevent others from needlessly losing their loved ones to suicide.

On her daughter’s suicide, ‘thankfully, I have a second chance’

Brandy Vega, founder of Good Deed Revolution, nearly lost her 14-year-old daughter to suicide in February 2021. Her plea to stop this crisis in youth went viral, and since that time many have come to her for help.

She joined KSL NewsRadio’s Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to discuss her experience.

Vega said that one night back in February, before going to bed, she had a conversation with her daughter about registering for ninth grade.

A couple of hours later around midnight, two police officers were banging on her front door.

“I said, ‘What happened? What did she do?’ They said, ‘You need to go check on her right now,'” Vega said, adding one of her daughter’s friends had called police.

 

“I went up and I found her in the bathroom, and she had tried to take her life. And if her friends hadn’t called 911, I would have found my daughter dead in the morning,” she said.

When Vega and her daughter reached Primary Children’s hospital, they had no available beds.

“They said ‘We’ve never seen anything like this. We have so many kids here, the youngest being eight who attempted to take their lives,'” she said.

Vega said she posted the family’s experience on social media and it went viral. Since then “hundreds” of parents have reached out to share the same anguish and to ask, “can you help me?”

“Thankfully, I have a second chance, but so many parents out there don’t. And not just parents because it’s not just a kid thing.”

Bad day or suicidal?

Vega said she asked her daughter when she awoke whether she was glad to be alive.

“She said, ‘Yeah, I didn’t want to die at the end, but it was too late.’ And I just feel bad because I think for so many kids, they don’t wake up.”

Vega said she has taught a suicide-prevention class and now knows the signs to look for in a potentially suicidal person. 

“I had been suicidal as a teenager as well, but when your kid is going through puberty and junior high, it all looks the same.”

Vega said she believes that social media played a “huge” role in her daughter’s mental health decline.

“It just all added up, and she couldn’t take the pressure,” she said. “They don’t know how to cope.”

Talking can save a life

Vega issued a challenge for listeners who suspect a loved one may be contemplating suicide.

“Ask them point-blank: ‘Hey, I’m worried about you’ or ‘I’m thinking about you’ or ‘I heard about this. Are you feeling suicidal?’ Don’t beat around the bush; ask them that.”

To reach out to more people, Vega said she’s producing a 90-minute comedy show called “Dying to Laugh: A Funny Look at Depression and Suicide” and working on a distribution deal.

If you or somebody you know is contemplating suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.

Related stories: 

Live Mic: Rep. Chris Stewart wants answers about Utah’s high suicide rate

Regulators to set up 3-digit suicide hotline number like 911

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

A bill that could make its way to the Utah legislature in the 2023 session would require school dis...
Mark Jones

Potential redesign of new Utah State Flag emphasizes Native American tribes

Sen. Dan McCay (R-Riverton) is sponsoring a bill that would call for a slight redesign of the new Utah State Flag.
1 day ago
As temperatures in the state plummet far below zero, advocates with Unsheltered Utah built an unsan...
Devin Oldroyd

Unsheltered Utah opens warming tent for unhoused people to escape frigid temperatures

As temperatures in the state plummet far below zero, advocates with Unsheltered Utah built an unsanctioned makeshift warming tent Monday.
1 day ago
education legislation...
Mark Jones

One Utah lawmaker wants to ban cellphones in classrooms

One Utah lawmaker wants to ban cellphones in Utah classrooms.
2 days ago
It's so cold today (Jan. 30) that plumbers are expecting calls anytime from customers needing servi...
Curt Gresseth

When it’s this cold, keep your pipes from freezing. Here’s how.

It's so cold outside today that a plumber has joined the show to share tips on keeping your pipes inside and outside your home from freezing.
2 days ago
Spanish Fork High School in Spanish Fork is pictured on Friday March 12, 2021. Students at Spanish ...
Mark Jones

Concurrent enrollment provides students with options in Nebo School District

Programs such as concurrent enrollment can give high school students and their parents options.
6 days ago
artificial intelligence banjo...
Curt Gresseth

ChatGPT: Plagiarism super-tool for students or AI brainstorming generator?

Will the future of AI be the interactive chatbot ChatGPT helping cheaters ace exams and tests or a new tool to assist all students in learning?
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
After daughter’s suicide attempt, mom wants to give kids tools to break free