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.
- 2-year-old boy dies from accidental shooting...
- Tabernacle Choir performs Handel's 'Messiah'...
- Salt Lake City Marathon comes with many...
- Police make arrest in death of 59-year-old...
- Western states to feds: Turn over public lands
- Film about man's crusade against child sex...
- Top 10 spring activities for Utah families
- Students test interactive experiences ahead...
- Atheists, Mormon scholars talk religion 90
- At UVU, Elder Oaks sees hope despite... 78
- Utah, Oklahoma same-sex marriage cases... 47
- U., Ute Tribe reach agreement on... 38
- Appeals judges question right to sue in... 27
- Autopsies of 7 infants completed;... 24
- Texas seizes FLDS Church's secluded ranch 23
- 2-year-old boy dies from accidental... 14