Push for solutions underway to Utah's suicide problem

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  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    June 17, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    @KWL --

    "We need to accept that the problem is complex and that one-size-fits-all answers are probably not out there."

    We certainly agree about the complexity, at least.

    On the other hand, there's a very obvious starting point. Getting rid of insidious and pervasive homophobia won't solve the entire problem, and it won't be easy to do -- but it's an incredibly important place to start.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 17, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    @ AggieLove: What connections do you see between cell phones, facebook, and suicide? (Especially given the fact that suicide was prevalent before cell phone and facebook existed.)

  • KWL Bountiful, UT
    June 17, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    Thanks, Plainbrownwrapper, you see the problem. The proper follow-up to a study that showed a population at increased risk would be follow-up studies looking at the cause of that risk. Instead, the data gets politicized and we fall back on word-of-mouth stories. That's why we need more vigorous studies. We need to accept that the problem is complex and that one-size-fits-all answers are probably not out there.

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    June 16, 2013 9:32 p.m.

    @KWL --

    The 2011 study that you are probably referring to doesn't actually say what you apparently think it does.

    1. -- it studied only adult gays and lesbians already in registered partnerships -- not youth.

    2. -- the data was gathered between 1990 and 2001 -- not recently. This affects both the issue of homophobia AND the question of disease (HIV), since much of the data was collected before effective HIV treatments.

    3. -- ONLY gay men had a higher suicide rate -- not lesbians.

    4. -- the suicide rate estimated for partnered gay men was higher than any gay suicide rate found in *any* other study. Obviously, that brings the results strongly into question.

    5. -- the study specifically states: "gay men...experience considerable cultural antipathy toward same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships....gay men also frequently experience anti-gay stigma and consequent adversity in their daily lives, the presumed mechanism that leads to the somewhat elevated risk for psychological morbidity that has been observed in this population" and also: "it may be that some of the increase in suicide risk results from gay men’s experiences with HIV disease either personally or among their partners and friendship networks".

  • KWL Bountiful, UT
    June 16, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    I've read about the high suicide rate among LGBT youth and adults. I've also ready that their suicide and depression rates remain similar even in countries like the Netherlands with extremely high levels of acceptance for them. Unfortunately, suicide doesn't have a single, magic bullet to fix it. Assuming all that's needed is a quick fix is part of the problem, not the solution.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 16, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    I met a guy who was was married with kids, do himself. He was a friend to my son. It shook up my son bad, could not sleep at all for days could not stop thinking about his friend. It's a mastery why, It's hard to understand. But the effect ripples out a long ways.

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    June 15, 2013 6:15 p.m.

    @Austin Coug --

    "What really matters is that the director of this new position understands the difference and focuses where the need is greatest."

    Don't get me wrong. These efforts are great things. But you'll never get rid of the state's suicide problem as long as the people of Utah keep ignoring the institutionalized homophobia that is so rampant there. Nope, of course that isn't the only cause of suicide -- but it's an incredibly important one, especially for the young.

    I FIRMLY support the stance of the LDS leadership, with their clear and repeated public statements that same-sex attraction is not a sin, that it is not a choice, and that people with same-sex attraction can serve in the temple. I think those are all **wonderful** steps, whatever one may believe about the homosexual act itself. It is SOOO important to let gay people know that they are not demonized and not worthless.

    Unfortunately, these words of tolerance and acceptance haven't yet reached down into the population. That's going to take a lot of work -- and as long as that need keeps getting ignored, the work won't get done.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    June 15, 2013 5:11 p.m.


    I don't think the author was attempting to write an indepth analysis of the demographics of suicides. You will note that the article also failed to mention the difference between the genders and age groups where there is also a large disparity in suicides. It also didn't call out that the Western US has a higher tendency for suicide. You are reading way too much into what wasn't said. What really matters is that the director of this new position understands the difference and focuses where the need is greatest.

  • DistantThunder Vincentown, NJ
    June 15, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    Nice to see a non-government non-profit with a great success record. Seems government just hires more bureaucrats and runs radio ads.

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    June 15, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    @Aggielove --

    You know what else is shocking?

    According to a US Government study, called Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide, LGBT youth are roughly FOUR TIMES more likely to attempt suicide than straight kids. Around 1/3 of ALL LGBT kids have attempted suicide at some point, according to some studies.

    Yet DN articles like this one don't even bother to mention that glaring fact.

    Suicide attempts are especially likely in LGBT kids who have been rejected by their families, who have been bullied, and who have experienced institutionalized homophobia.

    Of course, all of these problems are more likely to occur in conservative states where a large percentage of the population considers homosexuality to be sinful.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    June 14, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    This is shocking. I would of never guessed that this number would be so high.
    I would like to help in this program. But first, I believe cell phones and Facebook should be shut down. This is a major part of people's issues. Think about it before slamming the idea