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Rate of teen suicides in Utah triples

Car accidents no longer leading cause of death for Utah teens

A student sits by himself at school; isolation and feelings of hopelessness are among the main issues suicide prevention resources are trying to address.

Hoa Mai

A student sits by himself at school; isolation and feelings of hopelessness are among the main issues suicide prevention resources are trying to address.

Cheyenne Inman, Reporter

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Recently in Utah the number one cause of death for youth age 10-17 has change from car accidents to suicide. In fact according to The Salt Lake Tribune the suicide rate for teens has almost tripled since 2007.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s article writes that Utah health officials are at a loss when trying to discover why Utah’s suicide rate for youth is double that of the nations. A recent article by Huffington Post explains the theory that LGBT youth are committing suicide in Utah more than anywhere else because of the large percentage of Mormons in the state. Many of these children may have parents in the church and feel like there is no place for them in this society. Despite the church advocating for people to be accepting of everyone, many LGBT youth still feel outcast from their families and possibly a church that they have grown up in.

LGBTQ nation provided this thought on the rising suicides in Utah,“As The New Civil Rights Movement points out, the increase in youth suicides corresponds with a recent spike in LGBTQ youth suicides and an intensifying of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and policy in Utah and from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which has its headquarters in Salt Lake City.”

Another theory about the high suicide rates according to the Utah Health Department is that statistically people in Utah move more frequently than in other places which leaves people with weaker support systems and connections with people. They also believe that higher elevations can lead to clinical depression. Gun ownership is high in Utah. While owning a gun does not make people suicidal it has been proven that people who are suicidal are more likely to commit suicide if they own a gun.

When asked why she believed teen suicide is such as issue in Utah, Rikki [last name withheld], a Taylorsville senior, said that,“[It is] because society doesn’t know how to treat people right.” In other words people are cruel and unaccepting of one another. It seems that even after all of the anti-bullying assemblies, bullying is still an issue.

While the true cause of the rising suicide rates may not be discovered for a while, there are many resources that can help people with suicidal tendencies. Many schools especially high schools having been pushing these resources on their students in an attempt to lower the suicide rate. Some of these resources include the new SafeUT app and the national suicide hotline. Hopefully with all of these new resources and messages of acceptance the suicide rates in Utah will go back to normal. This being said, even one person lost to suicide is too many.

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Rate of teen suicides in Utah triples