Gov. Cox opens up about past mental heath struggles at press conference

Aug 18, 2022, 4:01 PM | Updated: 4:07 pm
Gov. Cox mental health...
Gov. Spencer Cox and state agencies released the full Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water on Wednesday.

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox began his August press conference on a somber mental health note by announcing that, just yesterday, he lost a dear friend to suicide.

“It’s no secret that Utah has a high suicide rate as compared to the rest of the nation, I think we have the 6th highest rate right now,” he said.

He then admitted that when he was young, he had struggled with suicide ideation (suicidal thoughts, or ideas).

“You are not alone,” he continued, “you are not broken, there is nothing unfixable about you,” he said, to anyone who may be having these thoughts right now.

Gov. Cox urged Utahns who may be struggling with a mental health crisis to reach out and to have a conversation with their loved ones about suicide and mental health. He said that bringing the topic up and getting it off someone’s chest helps immensely.

“We need you and we need you here,” Gov. Cox said. “So please reach out and get help.”

He said that one action, reaching out, can keep people alive. 

Gov. Cox wants mental health resources to be widespread, known by all

One of the resources Gov. Cox wants more Utahns to know about is QPR training, which is a way to talk about suicide prevention.

In the acronym, the letter Q stands for “question.” It’s a way to start the conversation by asking if a person has ever thought about suicide, and if so, how recently.

The letter P stands for “persuade,” or, persuade the person to go get help.

And the letter R stands for “refer,” or, refer the person to a self-help organization, or to professional help or other resources.

The SafeUT App can immediately put a user in contact with a professional at the University of Utah.

Dialing the new suicide hotline, 988, also quickly puts a user in touch with somebody that can help.

Somebody in crisis can also text TALK to 741741, or visit

If you or someone you love is in need of suicide prevention support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit

For support in Utah, call the UNI Crisis Line at 801-587-3000.

Related reading:


We want to hear from you.

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

Today’s Top Stories

Mental Health

A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
5 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
8 days ago
Three bills dealing with transgender youth in Utah have easily passed through the Utah Senate....
Simone Seikaly

Transgender youth-related bills pass Senate, advance to Utah House

Three bills that dealing with transgender-related issues have been approved by the Utah Senate and now move to the Utah House for consideration.
12 days ago
social media...
Curt Gresseth

Utah congressman discusses his bill to ban US teens under 16 from using social media

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, discusses his new bill that would ban American kids younger than 16 from using social media platforms.
13 days ago
An hour after Utah's senate passed a vote on the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries for m...
Lindsay Aerts

Bill banning transgender-related surgeries on minors advances after key Senate vote

SB16, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, places a ban on transgender-related surgeries for minors.
13 days ago
mental health...
Elizabeth Weiler

Davis County offering free mental health screening event for teens

The free event will allow Parents and their teens in 7th through 12th grade to check in with a mental health professional in person.
14 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...

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...

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...

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...

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
Gov. Cox opens up about past mental heath struggles at press conference