Laura Seitz, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The House passed a bill Friday to create a state suicide prevention coordinator for the State Office of Education and require that the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health also designate a statewide suicide prevention coordinator.
Under HB154, the two offices will work together to implement suicide prevention programs both in schools and statewide.
“The bottom line is prevention works,” said bill sponsor Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy. “We don’t have one person in the state dedicated to this very preventable cause of death.”
Eliason said he sponsored the bill in response to Utah’s alarming suicide rate. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Utah's youths, and two children ages 10-17 are treated each day for suicide attempts, according to the Utah Department of Health.
Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, questioned whether the Legislature had the constitutional authority to create such a position.
But several representatives from both parties spoke in support of the bill, including Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, who said that if one life is saved by having a suicide prevention coordinator, it will be a success.
The bill, which passed the House by a 67-2 vote, now goes to the Senate.
- Search for Susan Cox Powell is over, West...
- S.L. draws up airport plans
- 'We're here to serve all boys,' Utah Scout...
- Warrants issued for 3 suspects in beating...
- Couples registry gets preliminary nod from...
- Frances Monson, wife of LDS prophet, passes away
- 'Mantiques' could be a ticket to more cash
- Father vows to keep looking for Susan Cox Powell
- Frances Monson, wife of LDS prophet,... 66
- Mia Love announces she's officially... 42
- GOP delegates reject changes to... 31
- S.L. draws up airport plans 30
- XanGo co-founder accuses partners of... 23
- Search for Susan Cox Powell is over,... 20
- 'We're here to serve all boys,' Utah... 19
- Gov. Gary Herbert tells Washington... 14