Task Force: UT needs more suicide resources and awareness

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) Utah needs more resources and more awareness when it comes to teen suicide. That’s according to the Governor’s Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force.

After weeks of frank discussions, the task force announced their recommendations to prevent the state’s youth from taking their lives at a drastic rate. They admit, the recommendations are just the first step.

“It feels like, you honestly believe that lie that things won’t get better,” Taryn Hiatt said.

Hiatt’s father died by suicide. She attempted as a teen.

Hiatt joins state leaders and experts who believe connecting will prevent killing.

“No one wants to end their lives, they want to end the pain. We can’t end the pain unless we talk about the pain,” Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox said.

Talking and taking action are at the center of the task force’s recommendations.

“We have components of these in place and this gives us an opportunity to really scale it up and make a meaningful impact,” State Suicide Prevention Coordinator Kimberly Myer said.

A public awareness campaign is recommended to expand the use of the SafeUT app, the state’s crisis line and mobile crisis outreach teams.

Representative Steve Eliason urges firearm owners to lock and secure their guns.

“That can actually reduce there rate of suicide by almost 50% because youth are so impulsive,” Rep. Eliason said.

Advocates hope the recommendations it will prevent teens from believing their darkness will only end if their life does.

“Gov. Herbert. I think this is a good start. it is just the start. it’s not the end,” Governor Gary Herbert said

Those suffering from suicidal thoughts can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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