Suicide rates continue to rise in Utah; are intervention efforts working?

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  • BillMcGee Alpine, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 4:36 p.m.

    I think it is important to note that while the rates of suicides in higher elevation counties have gone up, the actual elevation of those locations has not changed. So the assertion that elevation has anything to do with the change in suicide rates as a percentage of the population is preposterous - and seems to be dodging the real issue

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 12:57 p.m.

    Is there a correlation of suicide in counties with high meth usage?

  • scotchipman Lehi, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 10:52 a.m.

    The elevation "theory" does not hold up, otherwise summit county would be near the top of the list.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 7:46 a.m.

    Kudos to the D-News for continuing to address a tough topic many would just as soon avoid.

    It goes against our culture and lifestyle, but one reason the rate is so high is easy access to guns. The "they'll just find another method" response may be too simplistic.

    Example: The small island country of Sri Lanka used to have the highest suicide rate in the world, with the method of choice being an extremely potent pesticide. When Sri Lankans decided to make that pesticide harder to get, the suicide rate fell in half.

    Researchers have found that many who are suicidal go through an acute low period that will often pass. (It may occur repeatedly, but depression can be improved).

    The availability of quick and highly lethal methods increases the chances of a tragic outcome.

    Without getting into the gun debate, if you're depressed or know somebody who is, you might be able to avoid a tragic outcome by making any guns that are accessible be unavailable for awhile.

    Any lives that can be saved through informing are worth it!

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 7:06 a.m.

    CrazyUT, above, has it exactly right. There is a definite correlation between high elevations and suicidal ideation -- in teenagers and everyone else. This key fact seems to get lost in the shuffle whenever we attempt to address the issue. I do have what will perhaps sound like a nutty suggestion -- one I confess I can't even be sure will help. If the elevation is a factor, doesn't that also mean that we who live at higher elevations may be suffering from oxygen deprivation? And if that's true, perhaps it is also true that some form of regular "oxygen therapy" might be of assistance to people who are so desperate they feel they must take their own lives? I say it's worth a try.

  • Just saying 7 Indianapolis, IN
    Oct. 7, 2018 4:25 a.m.

    Opioids are used for severe chronic pain. Prescriptions have dropped by 75 percent yet increased suicide. Hmm. Cannot be overuse of opioids. It is lack of pain control. CDC says suicides have increased 2 percent in two years for those denied pain management. You will see a lot more in the future. Pain kills. And shaming patients and doctors for legal pain control is not the answer. Do not punish pain sufferers.

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Oct. 7, 2018 12:37 a.m.

    We need licensed psychologists in the schools! The attempts we are making right now, like the Hope Squad, aren't working. We need actual trained psychologists. Having peers look for troubled kids is not a bad thing but those kids aren't trained to treat mental illness. Neither are the school counselors. We need mental health workers to deal with these kids.

    You can go to any school and ask the principal how many kids they are dealing with that have mental health issues. I will predict there will be at least 5 in every school.


  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 6, 2018 11:03 p.m.

    People have to be taught to work through intense emotional pain heal it, and know they will be ok. Suicide and suicide attempts are for the most part about wanting to stop emotional pain.

  • CrazyUT Ogden, UT
    Oct. 6, 2018 10:29 p.m.

    Maybe the suicide rate has something to do with altitude as some studies have suggested. However, in Utah at least, there is a real disconnect between the image and reality of our public policies and actions. Utah is far from a family friendly state, even though its politicians and citizens love to tout UT as just that. With its high rates of childhood cancer, asthma, allergies and autism. High rates of depression in women and opiod abuse and suicide across the board. Low investment in education or the environment. We're short term thinkers and only money really seems to matter to people in actuality, not family and certainly not those unrelated to us. This is not life elevated, folks.

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 6, 2018 7:26 p.m.


    Not until mental health is addressed and smartphones in the hands of teens is dealt with. Most teens have the same phones as their adults. After playing 10+ hrs of Snapchat and Insta we wonder why kids suffer from depression and anxiety?