Suicide Prevention

The NAMI Utah Prevention by Design program works with, supports and provides grant funding to local coalitions throughout Utah to implement and evaluate suicide/mental illness prevention and mental health promotion strategies. Prevention by Design is a key stakeholder and leader in the Utah suicide prevention movement. NAMI Utah Prevention by Design is helping advance the goal to reduce suicide rates in Utah by 10% by 2021 with the ultimate goal of zero suicides in Utah.

Suicide is a largely preventable public health problem and a leading cause of death for Utahns. Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth ages 10-17. Many more people attempt suicide than die by suicide. Every suicide death causes a ripple effect on individuals, families, and communities.

While suicide is a leading cause of death and many people report thoughts of suicide, the topic is still largely met with silence and shame just like mental illness. We at NAMI Utah know that everyone plays a role in suicide prevention…it is up to each one of us to help create communities where people feel safe and supported. It is essential for all Utahns to understand that people can and do recover from suicidal crises and mental health conditions.

Utah Suicide Data

  • An average of 592 Utahns die from suicide and 4,538 Utahns aged 10 attempt, suicide each year.
  • Overall, Utah males had a significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rate compared to Utah females.
  • Utah adults aged 25-64 had the highest rate of suicide.
  • Use of a firearm (49.7%) was the most common method of suicide deaths in Utah.

The Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition revised the state Suicide Prevention Plan in 2017 with a goal of reducing the Utah suicide death rate by 10% by 2021. The plan outlines effective, evidence-based strategies for promoting wellness and preventing suicide using Social Ecological Model. This can be found at the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition Website.

Reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors are essential to reducing suicides; common factors include:

Protective Factors

  • Connectedness
  • Effective Behavioral Health Care
  • Contact with Caregivers
  • Problem Solving Skills

Risk Factors

  • Prior Suicide Attempt(s)
  • Mood Disorder
  • Substance Abuse
  • Access to lethal Means

Why Means Matter:

  • Suicides outnumber homicides 8-1 in Utah.
  • 85% of firearm deaths in Utah were suicides 2006-2015.
  • Firearms account for half of all Utah suicides.
  • 91% of firearm suicides among youth under 18 occurred at home

Putting time and distance between a suicidal person and a gun may save a life.

  • Suicidal crisis’s are often brief
  • The deadliness of an attempt depends in part on the method used
  • 90% of those who attempt suicide and survive don’t go on to kill themselves.

If a person talks about

  • Killing themselves
  • Feeling hopeless
  • No reason to live
  • Being a burden
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain

These may signal a risk

  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having no reason to live
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Giving away prized possessions

One or more of the following

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation
  • Anger

Suicide Prevention Resources

Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition

The Coalition is a partnership of community members, suicide survivors, service providers, researchers, and others dedicated to saving lives and advancing suicide prevention efforts in Utah. The Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition is dedicated to long-term suicide prevention efforts.

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