Comments about ‘Suicides in Utah increasing, but solutions are in sight’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 25 2013 10:45 a.m. MDT

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Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Among the suicide statistics are people in or associated with the military. In America, military people and veterans commit suicide at the rate of 1 per hour or 22 per day. 60% are over age 59, 30% are under age 39.

Police officers commit suicide at the rate of 125 to 150 per year.

Firemen may only be 30 or so per year.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

The increase use of medications with known "increased suicidal risks" needs to addressed first.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

A simple thing that can be done to reduce the suicide rate is to not have a gun in the home. White males have the highest suicide rate. While murder rates have decreased, suicide rates using firearms has increased.

"Ecologic studies that compare states with high gun ownership levels to those with low gun ownership levels find that in the U.S., where there are more guns, there are more suicides. The higher suicide rates result from higher firearm suicides; the non-firearm suicide rate is about equal across states."

About 85% of attempts with a firearm are fatal: that’s a much higher case fatality rate than for nearly every other method. Many of the most widely used suicide attempt methods have case fatality rates below 5%"
(Harvard School of Public Health)

ahfclass
Orem, UT

How was Provo School District able to address this and have this success? In Alpine district (and in most of Utah) it is literally forbidden to talk about suicide; you can't even use the word "suicide" as administrators are afraid it calls too much attention to the idea of doing it. But they have anti-porn assemblies, anti-tobacco and anti-drug assemblies, and wear colors and ribbons to promote not choosing these things. Our local high school has experienced the loss of beloved friends to suicide. I have family who have lost children to suicide. If we are hiding from suicide as a real option teens and others consider, that won't make it go. Rather, shouldn't we try letting kids know that people really feel like this, and that it's a horrific option to choose, for everybody affected by it? I've watched my daughter grieve a close friend's suicide for 1 1/2 years now. We need to make suicide prevention a regular part of the healthy living dialogue.

Aggielove
Cache county, USA

Truth seeker, your right, guns are part of the means to the end.
But your thoughts seem motivated towards gun control.
How about discussing why white men take loosing jobs, and not being able to provide like the man next door so very hard?
It's the main reason they commit this action.
They feel like they are failures.
Nothing to do with guns.
They will just jump off a cliff instead.

jrgl
CEDAR CITY, UT

Deseret News it's not only teens committing suicide! More articles focus on teens when other populations have increases as well, especially since the recession.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:AggieLove
"An analysis of 2010 deaths in Utah showed nearly 40 percent of those who committed suicide had a conflict with an intimate partner. Slightly more than half had been diagnosed with a mental illness. Only 15 percent were reported to have a financial problem.

Research suggests that the high rate of suicide in the Intermountain West may be tied to elevation, rural communities with fewer health resources, access to firearms and a heavily western European population, which has been shown to have more suicidal thoughts."
(SL Trib 2012)

The.Canuck
Tooele, UT

The loss of a job affects a man more than they let on. Men that lose the ability to provide for their families often look at their life insurance policies and notice that the suicide clause expires after 2 years of policy ownership generally. I know I did this research when I lost my job after 14 years and felt like a failure. Thankfully with some hard work I found a new job and can still provide for my family.

This economy sucks and is playing a part in the rise of suicides. For sure there are other factors like mental health that must be addressed, but for adults and white males in general, look no further than a job loss in a lousy economy.

Fix the economy and let the people have hope. Right now, all this hope and change is going for the worse.

My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT

Radicals can't let it go, guns are here to stay whether they like it or not. The left wing can forget about ever getting laws passed to strip gun ownership for any reason, the risk of disarming the american people and opening this country to demonic government control is too risky. We are seeing what government repression is doing to this country, it is causing suicides in schools and the worst economy this country has ever seen since the revolutionary war.

Suicide prevention? Its impossible to predict, define, or eliminate. The mind is to unpredictable and no 2 suicides are the same. Medications cause the majority of self inflicted deaths but people put too much value on medications to cure anything. Medications cure notheing and awareness is of little value when someone makes up their mind to die. There is little we can do to stop it. Its not something we can educate people to avoid, they already know the risk and results of their choices and its their right to due if they so choose.

They choose to die to escape their suffering and emotional pain of socialism in children and adults, intervention only makes their lives worse longer.

JBT
Provo, UT

I think it's Very safe to say that Guns have Never been the 'reason' for committing suicide. So to somehow link suicide with gun control is absurd. It's certainly one manor of death, however, so is drug overdose, strangulation (hanging), Carbon monoxide poisoning, cutting, suffocation, jumping off a cliff, etc.
The article seems to highlight mental illness, which I think is certainly easy for parents, friends, and families to except. But it's not Always the reason for suicide... and that's why suicide is a difficult problem to address. No one, typically a parent, wants to hear that they were part of the 'reason' their kid committed suicide, and I realize you cant tell the parents of someone who committed suicide that they were part of the problem. BUT, I think we as parents, families and friends should be able to learn from these parenting mistakes so we can improve how we raise our own children.? Maybe be more loving, more caring, more forgiving, less judgmental. Recognize the good things our kids do, dont compare them to Sally or John down the street, and don't try to make them into something they're not. jmho

Shane333
Cedar Hills, UT

The article touches on the main cause of these suicides: mental illness. The best preventative measures will be those addressing effective treatment of mental illness.

Some people make the irrational mistake of blaming inanimate objects such as ropes, firearms, shaving razors, etc for the cause of suicide. Blaming a rope or a firearm for a suicide is like blaming my fork for my over-eating.

Sure, a person with mental illness may require extra precautions at home, but let us not blame inanimate objects when the real reason for suicide overwhelmingly has to do with what is going on inside a person such as in the case of a chemical/hormonal imbalance.

kolob1
sandy, UT

Suicide among teens is about non acceptance. It is about a society that has shut out an emerging human being.It is about all of the elements of a society , Church, school, peers and the political established that has labeled the younger person both in print and in the spoken words as UNFIT and UNWORTHY . This article committed two major sins. One it addressed the issue as Utah's image problem and it did not once mention the primary cause of teen suicide in America today. DRUGS and BEING GAY!! This is not the way to solve the problem . You have to utter the words in order to correct the problem. Your Hopr4Utah should be Hope4theKIDS. You are trying to solve the problem because it makes you look bad. How about solving the problem because it is killing our kids.

thebigsamoan
Richmond, VA

Truthseeker,

I'm with AggieLove on the gun control thing. Sad as I am to hear of the suicide problem in Utah, the fact remains that guns do not kill, and the people's right to own them must not be controlled nor banned under any circumstances. All efforts must be aimed at finding, correcting, educating, and then helping people avoid whatever it is that's causing them to loose all hope and settle on suicide. Educate, educate, educate! That my friend, couple with people caring and reaching out to help each other, is the only real solution!

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

The biggest asset any one could have is some one who believes in you.

Random
Redlands, CA

How about the insane need to be "perfect"? That seems to abound in Utah. Perfect job, perfect body, perfect grades and when someone can't measure up to an impossible standard, it's easier to just end it all, rather than be okay with being imperfect.

higv
Dietrich, ID

People who want to end there life will end it gun or no gun. Stop trains, cliffs, certain types of medicines. Suicide is tragic and I think most people that do it are mentally ill. Hard for victims of it the family and friends and them. You can't blame guns for there decision.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

How many times do we hear of murder-suicides in the media?

I think that "Truthseeker" had something when bringing up the statistic of 40% of suicides having had a conflict with an intimate partner, and "george of the jungle" who mentioned the need for someone to "believe in you".

It irks me when there seems to be little desire or ability to go more deeply into the conditions that lead to murder suicides but those few for which I have found a more detailed report seem to indicate infidelity and jealousy, whether the partners were married or had a "relationship".

It also irks me to hear the term "mental illness" bandied around quite so much, when I believe that this "illness" sometimes has to do with the normal human need to be loved and appreciated. It also bothers me that so many just avoid someone who is "negative" if that "negativity" is rooted in a sense of helplessness or loneliness rather than just being habitually cantankerous. Maybe there could be more application of the commandment to "mourn with those who mourn and comfort those in need of comfort."

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Its rather sad to see politics injected into a subject such as this.

I've known several people who have decided to make this final decision. It's rather frustrating that these people some how came to the conclusion that there was no alternative for them, that there was no way out. You know people were letting these people know there were options, but somehow they just were not able to hear it.

"It also irks me to hear the term "mental illness" bandied around quite so much, when I believe that this "illness" sometimes has to do with the normal human need to be loved and appreciated."

Great point. The need to be loved is hardly an illness.... but not being able to see that others love you when you are indeed loved... there is a problem. One of my friends that did take this path did know he was loved, and loved back, and that was the reason he decided to take this path - as he felt he had failed those whom he loved... he had not measured up... had not done enough.

Sometimes we need to stop worrying about being "saints".... and realize sometimes were just human.

Shazandra
Bakersfield, CA

I had two lovely neices on opposite sides of the family end their lives. Both were beautiful, successful, LDS and seemingly had much to live for. One was engaged and had a successful medical profession; the other had 3 beautiful children and a supportive family. In retrospect, each had clear signs of bi-polar and/or depression issues many years ago, but never sufficient to see suicide as something they would ever contemplate. They both loved and were unconditionally loved by their families. Acceptance and self-esteem were never an issue. Some other factors obviously were.

The only two things they had in common were the Church and their Rx meds. We may never know, but one glaring question that is not being asked here is: Why isn't the high LDS influence in Utah helping to stem the tide? Examining that role and its influence in each case is a mandatory consideration for families who truly want to search every avenue for any help of future victims.

Shane333
Cedar Hills, UT

Some have touched on LDS influence in Utah. The fact is that suicide rates are high across the Rocky Mountain region of the USA irrespective of the LDS population percentages within any given state in that region. In fact, religious belief and participation is generally found to reduce attempts at suicide, though it doesn't prevent thoughts of suicide.

Some are mistaking a need to feel loved with mental illness. Mental illness goes far beyond a need to feel loved. It involves chemical and hormonal imbalances. Extra love alone won't fix those imbalances.

Now obviously not everyone who commits suicide suffers from mental illness. As some have mentioned, extreme stress such as the loss of employment in a bad economy can be a factor for some. In other cases family relationship difficulties may be a factor. Still, those don't negate the need to find effective treatments for those who suffer from true mental illness.

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