Silas Walker, Deseret News
FILE - Gov. Gary Herbert speaks at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 22, 2019. The Governor’s Suicide Prevention Fund has awarded $247,500 in grants to organizations working to prevent suicide in Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Governor’s Suicide Prevention Fund has awarded $247,500 in grants to organizations working to prevent suicide in Utah.

Davis Behavioral Health, Encircle, HOPE4UTAH, National Center for Veterans Studies, Utah Pride Center, The Family Place, Utah Navajo Health System and Reach4Hope Suicide Prevention Coalition in Washington County have each been awarded a $30,000 grant. Continue Mission will receive $7,500.

"In a small way, these grants represent the hope we would like to share with those among us who feel hopeless," Gov. Gary Herbert said. "We trust these funds will be a boost of support to those agencies that are on the front lines of responding to mental health crises and spreading hope."

The Governor's Suicide Prevention Fund, created in 2018 by HB370, is made up of tax-deductible donations from Utah taxpayers, as well as Intermountain Healthcare, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Legislature, among other supporters.

Grants are awarded to organizations working to provide support to individuals and families while reducing the prevalences of suicidal death, thoughts and ideations and supporting crisis interventions when necessary.

Projects that will be at least partially funded by the grants include recreational group activities for veterans; educational and outreach efforts to enhance understanding and perceptions to serve LGBTQ youth; a statewide volunteer crisis team to support rural areas and charter schools in Utah; training for businesses to address mental health and suicide prevention in the workplace; and, increased follow-up care for service members and veterans.

"The breadth and scope of these projects are an important reminder of what suicide prevention is all about — promoting meaningful lives through overall health and wellness, social relationships and connections, healthy and safe communities and tools to weather life's challenges," Utah Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services administrator Kim Myers said.

Applications for the grants are submitted to and reviewed by the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and recipients are ultimately selected by the governor.

Comment on this story

This year, the Legislature passed HB393, which creates additional programs and funding mechanisms for statewide efforts for suicide prevention, but also institutes a match for funds donated to the Governor's Suicide Prevention Fund this year.

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If someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, resources are available. In Utah, the SafeUT app provides a direct connection to a crisis line. Other resources include:

National Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

University Neuropsychiatric Institute Crisis line: 801-587-3000

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.