Utah governor assembles team to tackle surge in teen suicides

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  • Ann Blake Tracy Henderson, NV
    May 15, 2018 4:35 a.m.

    I left Utah in 2005 because I could get no one to pay attention to this & could not bear to watch it any longer. Even after the FDA came out with a Black Box Warning on antidepressant drugs doubling suicidal thoughts & actions for those under 25 Utah did not want to hear it. And with this new task force having so many with massive vested interests in not looking at these drugs it will continue to be ignored! (What vested interests? One example is NAMI who gets 81% of their funding from Pharma according to a 2008 Senate probe by Sen. Grassley.)

    While the rest of the world has ignored this to a fault in one decade their teen suicide rate doubled while in Utah it has tripled!

    Pharma has given us heroin, cocaine, Thalidomide, Ecstasy, LSD, PCP, Fen-Phen, Vioxx, Opiods, etc. With that track record seems reasonable a drug could be the problem - when according to the Center on Public Integrity Eli Lilly paid out $2.7 Billion in fines & settled 32,000 injuries during just the first decade Prozac was out!

    I began testifying in cases involving these drugs in 1992 & can tell you if you want to learn the truth about the dangers of these drugs read court transcripts!!!

  • ksampow Ogden, UT
    Jan. 30, 2018 9:17 a.m.

    A task force will do no good unless they can get the legislature to put up more money for mental health professionals. We are unable to get help for our foster son who has talked of committing suicide because the few providers who accept medicaid are booked for months ahead.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 7:02 p.m.

    Lets see, the Safe Utah app doesn't really work too well, at least not if you are going to any other college other than the UofU. Hopefully it works better for HS students. That was the last thing the state passed, which was a good idea if it actually worked. You can't seem to sign up for it unless you are going to the UofU and hopefully a HS in the state.

    Social media seems to be a negative, giving unrealistic comparisons for people and can be used for bullying. Some suggest the sudden rise in suicides coincides with when it was the norm for Jr high kids to have smart phones.

    Therapy, medication, and seeing a doctor is expensive. High co pays or lack of insurance are significant barriers to treatment. Probably one of the best things the State could do is pass Healthy Utah or medicaid expansion. One thing the state seems reluctant to do is spend money, even when the federal government would pick up 90% of the tab. Hopefully the medicaid expansion initiative will pass next year. It would also help with substance abuse treatment, which as a significant risk factor for suicide would also help.

  • KR67 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 11:20 a.m.

    I believe that we all have ideas that could help. There are so many options for help but unless you have depression you can not imagine what pain these people are going through. Until this happened to our family, I had no idea, I felt like most ignorant people that it is a selfish act. But this is wrong, our daughter didn't have a selfish bone in her body. She tried to help everyone she could but didn't know how to help herself. She was and is loved, she was spiritual she was kind. If you have ideas, please contact the Task Force, for any idea is a good, what we are doing isn't working so lets try anything.

  • D Van Duker Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 10:48 a.m.

    Teen suicide is perhaps the saddest loss of untapped human potential. I'm glad that the topic seems to be getting renewed attention. While there are conflicting points of view as to how to address the issue, the preservation of even one child would be worth all the effort.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 10:28 a.m.

    There is bad people, sociopaths. People the are lie'ers cheaters and thrives. Their born that way and or they have learned to. Once you have identified, ya got two choices. Attack or avoid. If you confront, let them know you know how to expose em. They might move on to an easier target. But you make sure you can protect yourself because might makes right to them.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 10:01 a.m.

    Tolstoy - salt lake, UT

    Mental health professionals are on the panel. Involving religious and business leaders (those with significant interest in the problem and who have influence on people) is necessary. No single entity has all of the answers and having diversity on the panel avoids the possibility that one limited perspective would prevail.

  • emb Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 8:39 a.m.

    The increase in suicide comes as no surprise to me. As society moves away from timeless values contained in sacred writ to one driven by tabloid headlines and Hollywood standards, they stand on quick sand. All the king's horses and all the king's men can't "fix" it. Such standards fail to value all people, and instead focus on the sensational. We are finding that "what goes on in Vegas" does "not stay in Vegas". It spreads like a cancer. emb

  • Yorkshire Logan, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 6:00 a.m.

    I heard a speaker who suggested increasing Narcissism in society has help fuel an uptick in suicides.

    If you are high on the Narcissism scale of feeling entitled, that life is all about you & all about what you feel/want can lead to being impulsive, do what they want without regard for what family/friends would feel as the result of any irresponsible or harmful actions.

    Heard this after the suicide of Dave Mirra, a highly successful BMX rider & winner of several XGames medals. The speaker suggested that Mirra's career in doing just what he wanted, followed by losing the status he had reached & seeing other riders advancing to achieve the place he used to fill, his unhappiness when he could no longer be the top dog led him to be unable to handle it and be perceived as who he wanted.

    And rather than enjoy his life with his family, he selfishly discounted- or in Narcissistic fashion- didn't even consider or care about others & the devastation of his wife & 2 daughters aged 8 and 9-- and followed the 'its all about me' line of thinking instead.

    I don't know if this is valid hypothesizing, but have thought about that speaker's theories every time I heard about a suicide now.

  • benjjamin Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2018 10:16 p.m.

    As long as they keep thinking inside the box, they'll keep failing. I like that they're including a bunch of people from different backgrounds, but I wonder how many of them are current suicide risks or suicide survivors. That's the source of the information they need. And I'm not talking about some lame 20-question survey. I'm talking about deep conversations that get to the root and explore the details. They need to connect with and glean priceless information from those directly at risk. These are the ones not being heard. One suicidal person I talked to said that if they were questioned by those just trying to honestly help solve the problem, they'd be as open as can possibly be. They'd tell you their whole story, including all the things they KNOW would be helpful to them, but that nobody was willing or able to help with, including family, mental health professionals, friends, hotlines, and others. If anyone knows a contact for this project, please let me know.
    Also, no mention of autism suicide. I hope they make that a major consideration.

  • SIMPLICITY Denver, CO
    Jan. 17, 2018 9:15 p.m.

    Social media does not help. One of the 7 deadly sins is envy. We ALL compare and contrast ourselves to others. And of course nearly everything people post on social media are portrayals of success, happiness, fun, excitement, love and joy. However, this simply isn't an accurate representation of peoples lives. Many young people become disillusioned by social media and think "I'm alone" "Im the only one that doesn't have this success" "I'm the only one that does not have love". Many young people don't have enough life experience to know that social media is simply garbage and very deceptive.

    Some advice.... put down the phone and computer and start to live life. Not a virtual life but a life in the real world.

  • BC360 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 17, 2018 9:14 p.m.

    Here is the seed; and let’s keeping supporting for such good iniciatives from emerging adulthood in our community.
    https://civolicy.org/

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 17, 2018 5:51 p.m.

    @KR67
    The death of a loved one by suicide is a pain I wish no one ever had to go through. I sincerely apologize if I seemed onsesative before.
    Suicide is an issue that haunts me as a professional and as a person.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    Jan. 17, 2018 5:02 p.m.

    This is great news. Too many teens (and adults) think suicide is the only solution to their current state. Too many young lives are ended to early. Saving even one is worth the effort.

  • KR67 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2018 4:33 p.m.

    And as a father who lost his daughter I truly appreciate your concern on this subject. Anything we can do as a community to help these people who feel such disparate. Thank you for all you do.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 17, 2018 4:01 p.m.

    @KR67
    If that is true then this article is very poorly written considering it mentions church and business leaders and the only quotes are by a senator with no mental health experience and a car dealer. As a mental health professional with over 30 years experience I would have lived to attend had I any idea it was happening and/or belief that I would be allowed to be anything more then a by stander. I do agree that there should be some teenagers engaged.

  • KR67 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2018 3:46 p.m.

    That is just not true, there are a number of mental health professionals on the task force. If you had of attended you would know that. But I would have liked to see a high school student or two on the task force. Let's ask them what they need.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 17, 2018 3:14 p.m.

    Typical solution to social and mental health issues in Utah. “Let’s bring together a bunch of business and church leaders to solve this issue instead of the mental health professionals actually trained and experienced with these issues.”