DAVE & DUJANOVIC

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

Aug 19, 2021, 4:03 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 12:37 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

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

In this Saturday, June 29, 2019, photo, Christy Belt, Timpanogos Academy 5th grade teacher, engages...
Curt Gresseth

Preparing and training for school emergencies

A Be Ready Utah expert discusses preparing for school emergencies, the need to have a plan ready and a list of items needed to safely handle disasters when they happen because they do.
4 days ago
File - Experts say parents should consider if Snapchat is right for children and teenagers due to i...
Curt Gresseth

Expert gives advice for parents on teens and new Snapchat controls

Parents need to know the dangers that Snapchat can present to young kids. An expert joins the show to discuss Snapchat's new parental controls and how to have an open conversation with a teen using the app and others like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
5 days ago
french fries are pictured. Inflation is raising lunch prices...
Samantha Herrera

Is inflation hurting your lunch plans?

High costs from inflation may be messing with your lunch. Some restaurants have had to raise prices to deal with high ingredient costs.
6 days ago
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Amie Schaeffer

Inflation Reduction Act would provide nearly $80 billion for IRS

The Inflation Reduction Act would provide almost $80 billion in funding to the IRS, but what would it be used for?
6 days ago
Welcome sign to Moab. A Moab concert series will happen this year....
Allie Litzinger

New ordinance introduced to help in tight housing market in Moab

In an effort to fight a tight Moab housing market, the city has introduced a new ordinance that requires one-third of any new developments be set aside for current employees.
12 days ago
Native American regalia...
Curt Gresseth

U. of U. to offer scholarships to Indigenous students in Utah

The University of Utah announced that scholarships will be offered to members of Utah's eight federally recognized tribes. The university president shares details of the program with Dave & Dujanovic.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

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