MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide rates increasing in Utah, but so are available resources

Dec 8, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 10:15 am

suicide prevention Utah...

FILE - One suicide prevention administrator, said rising rates mean there's a need for Utahns to actively engage in suicide prevention. (KSL)

(KSL)

SALT LAKE CITY — Suicide rates in Utah have increased 12% in 2022, compared to 2021. These new numbers come from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which released the numbers earlier this week.

Dr. Michael Staley with the DHHS said this is the most significant increase since 2018. He said these numbers reflect a pattern of rates increasing after major devastating world events.

“In any other tragic event that we’ve experienced over the last many decades, Sept. 11 attacks, and the Great Recession of 2008 we’ve seen this two-year leg period [of suicide increases],” Stanley said. “We knew this was a possibility coming out of the pandemic.”

COVID-19 and how it relates to suicide rates in Utah

There were a lot of stressors in the COVID-19 pandemic, Staley said. Many people were upended economically, lost loved ones and lost jobs.

This “despair” is cumulative, therefore the notable rise.

DHHS Suicide Prevention administrator Carol Ruddell, said these numbers indicate a need for Utahns to actively engage in suicide prevention.

“Suicide prevention is not something that a single organization or state agency can do alone,” Ruddell said. “This really requires every Utahn to be active, talking to friends and neighbors and checking in, being sure folks are doing well and feeling valued.”

Ruddell said Utah has a lot of suicide prevention resources to be aware of.

Crisis hotlines like 988 are available at all times to talk people through a mental health crisis. Ruddell said organizations like Live On can help people learn how to help loved ones with suicidal ideation.

Something to be aware of are the difficult conversations to be had about suicide, Staley said.

“We need to double down on people having access to lethal means,” Staley said. “We need to have conversations about somebody they trust holding firearms or helping them control their medication for a period of time.”

Awareness, connection and open conversations are the main ways people can avoid tragedy through suicide, Raddell said.

Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Crisis hotlines

  • Huntsman Mental Health Institute Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • SafeUT Crisis Line: 833-372-3388
  • 988 Suicide and Crisis LifeLine at 988
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

Online resources

We want to hear from you.

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

Mental Health

Katy Welkie, vice president of Intermountain and CEO of Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, ...

Eric Cabrera, Amie Schaeffer

Intermountain Health to open behavioral health center in Taylorsville

Intermountain Health is expanding its behavioral health services. A new center for children and teens will open in Taylorsville in 2025.

3 days ago

(Canva)...

Heather Peterson

Program connects those who struggle with mental health to employers

SALT LAKE CITY — A sector of Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services is connecting those who struggle with mental illnesses with employers, to aid in their recovery. With Individual Placement and Support (IPS) offices across the state, they help those who have suffered from mental health crises or a co-occurring substance use disorder, […]

8 days ago

Getting along with the in-laws can be a tricky - but essential - part of the marriage journey. Utah...

Emma Everett Johnson, KSL.com

Struggling with in-laws? USU experts have some advice

Struggling with in-laws? You're not alone. The University of Utah has conducted a research study to help people out who have in-law troubles.

17 days ago

(Canva)...

Michelle Lee

The impact of spring colors on mental health

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Sally Augustin to learn how we can use spring colors to improve our mental health.

25 days ago

Therapist talks about mental health for athletes in the olympics...

Allessandra Harris

Sports psychologist explains an Olympic athlete’s feelings of grief

It is common for Olympic athletes to experience feelings of grief when competing or after the events have ended.

28 days ago

Salt Lake Deputy Police Chief Josh Scharman conducts the grand opening of the Community Connections...

Eric Cabrera

Social workers with Salt Lake Police Department are responding to more callers than ever

The Community Connection Center social workers who work with the Salt Lake Police Department are getting an increase in mental health-related calls, as a result they have grown their team to able to respond to more.

28 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Suicide rates increasing in Utah, but so are available resources