Comments about ‘Deadly taboo: Youth suicide an epidemic that many in Utah prefer to ignore’

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Published: Sunday, April 23 2006 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Brandi Eskuche

Dear Deseret News,
This is a powerful story. Would you do a follow up on the families. How are they coping? Please. We all need to know, how are the families dealing with this to this day.


Sierra.... I love you.

Terrance L. Smith

Children here in happy vally are isolated from the start of their lives. They are not allowed to work out their negitive interactions on their own, but must be nice and and not be confrontational. People here are very private and cannot have a conversation with a stranger. Here, people are taught to be estranged from the community at large and therefore are not bonded to the love of life that contoversial interactions promote. I'm from the east where people argue about politics and religion, and people can deal with confrontation. This custom allows one to externalize in a healthy way their internal feelings. Were these suicidal children encouraged to express their true beliefs in a forceful manner? Utahans hate confrontation. They are taught to internalize everything.

Melissah Jackson

I lost my little brother to suicide eight months ago. I don't think that the people that try to commit suicide understand how hurtful the outcome is to their families. I think that starting in junior high, kids need to have an assembly with videos and stories about kids that went through with it, and how it effects everyone they know. We definately need to discuss this subject with our children now! The stresses that children are dealing with at the tender ages of the teenage years are usually pretty trivial, and will disappear and be forgotten with time. Kids that young should not be dying from their own hands. We need to teach them now! I love you Alex, and miss you everyday!

Melissah Jackson,

If you read this again, and I hope you will. Your idea is great. If only they knew. My daughter was one mentioned in this article. It hurts. It hurts beyond words. Suicide is a veil of darkness that haunts families for the remainder of their lives. I stumbled across this accidentally. I am glad I did.

Leah Robison

My beautiful seventeen year old daughter, Julia Robison, took her life Aug 22, 2008. Just minutes after we had told her how much she was loved and how proud of her we were for making good choices. My heart breaks for anyone that has to live through this hell. Her two siblings are struggling so hard right now. I will pray for each of you. This is an epidemic. We have to do something to save our kids.

Dr. D. G. Johnson

Were the cause of this suicide epidemic actually mental illness, we would still have to explain why mental illness is more prevalent in Utah than elsewhere in the U.S. And it strains the imagination to blame mental illness coupled with drug use. These children of LDS are not allowed to drink coffee; they use drugs at a much lower rate than children in other parts of the country. If we want to explain the suicide epidemic, we will have to think harder.

Allen S.Thorpe

I've suffered with depression from the age of 12. The only thing that kept me from considering suicide was the knowledge that I wouldn't really die, but would have to face the Savior and explain why I cast aside his greatest gift. This isn't a negative thing, however. I've also had moments of great joy and hope.

I believe that without God, mortality has no meaning, and the pain it inflicts on many is too hard to bear. We have replaced God with the wisdom of man's philosophy, such as nihilism and existentialism, and the belief that the mind of man is the source of highest wisdom. But such ideas offer no redemption, no purpose other than play out the insane game of survival of the fittest.


I disagree with the Dr. There are a good number of faithful LDS teens that hide drinking and drugs from their families because they don't want to disappoint them. They live double lives partying with friends on the weekend and going to church on Sunday, reading scriptures, hiding the truth. These confused children are good kids who, as mentioned in the article, are under a lot of pressure. It is not wrong for children to decide the church is not for them. They should not be shunned as I was as a teen for choosing a different religious path. Luckily, I had a mother who talked openly about the church and drugs and let me decide on my own what was best for me. My grandparents and ward neighbors still made me feel like I was Satan's spawn because I had different views on religion and I consumed alcohol. I had suicidal thoughts up until my son's father committed suicide five years ago. The impact suicide has on a family is ever lasting. God bless those who have lost a loved one this way. And may all the struggling teens find happiness.


Just because you disagree, does not change the facts. Our Mormon youth have so much pressure and expectation, no wonder they fall into despair. They don't have Jesus, His free gift of forgiveness and Grace. It is all based on how well they perform for the organization. They need to have a personal relationship with Jesus, where they can know they are forgiven, redeemed, adopted and FREE.

ryan k

To May. I do not feel that a religious relationship would save people the way you think. I have been close to ending my life and you find yourself in the darkest pit you can imagine looking over a cliff. I think the best way to help the situation would be to conduct surveys in schools, find those that have looked over the edge of this cliff and turned back. Find those who chose life and ask a simple question, "Why?". We have to find young people that are willing to talk about their lives and we must be brave enough to ask the questions. Never underestimate how complicated and deep the minds of young people can be.


My family had a close incounter with a morman teenager in our town. He is a young man with much passion and he thought he could think independently. It turned out he was wrong. We had the opportunity to know him for 8 months. He was shamed into going back to the chruch and wiped all close relations completely away in order to return. My heart goes out to anyone, in any religion, who is made to feel guilty, shameful, and told they will not go to heaven, for free thinking. Is this not a free country? I understand why the sucide rate is highest in Utah. There childern are repressed, depressed, and learn at an early age to detach from their emotions and reality. My heart goes out to this young man because his independent thoughts were stolen from him. No one should ever have that taken away.


mormon... not morman

LHS student

We have had two kids commit suicide at my school alone in the last 3 weeks, one of which has a pregnant girlfriend. It has been so hard for everyone. I have considered suicide before, not thinking about how it would affect others. Now, having to go through these deaths and see the people around me deal with it, i will never again consider ending my life. suicide affects everyone and i feel for anyone who has had to deal with the death of a loved one. R.I.P. Scott Nye, Kade Cooper, Nathan Edgar, Rachel Vigal, and Scott Burgin. We miss and love you

It's Vigil

Not Vigal, sorry I had to correct, she was one of my best friends.


Rachel Vigil did NOT commit suicide! Her accident was just that, an accident. She loved life and was an extraordinarily happy girl. Please, do not slander her names with lies and miscommunications. She had an accident that claimed her life and she will be missed and remembered for the beautiful life she lived.

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