As of 2018, Utah has the third highest teen death by suicide rate in the United States. Of Utahn’s ages 10 to 17 years old, approximately 19% considered or planned suicide, and 9% attempted suicide. There could be many reasons for such high rates in Utah like geographical location (Wyoming has the highest teen suicide rate), school environments, family life, religious situations, and even political climate. I wanted to research further this topic, attempting to uncover Utah’s unique circumstances that is causing teen suicide. 

In an article disucssing Utah’s high suicide rate, Luke Ramseth investigates possible roles of religion and technology that contribute to this, as well as focussing on the LGBTQ+ community and suicide. Ramseth states that “The state’s suicide rate for all ages is more than 60 percent above the national average”. He explains that suicide is the leading cause of death in Utahns ages 10-17, and Utah has a great lack of prevention programs. In order to lower this rate, Utah needs to create better, more effective prevention programs as well as create a more accepting and open space for struggling teens, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community.

In a similar article , Heidi Hatch discusses other possible causes to why Utah’s teen suicide rate is so high and what we can do to fix it. Hatch mentions that suicide rates across the western states are high, correlating with the easy access to firearms in this area. She states that “45% of Utah’s youth suicides were committed with a handgun”. In addition to this, Utah has a severe lack of mental health counselors and treatment centers. If we want to lower Utah’s increasing teen suicide rate, we need to create more quality ways of getting help, and on a larger (even national) scale, move towards gun control/limitations.

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February 9, 2021 3:50 pm

Zoe, this topic is so important to learn about. I like how you mentioned the most vulnerable groups and how they can be best protected. As a Utah resident, it makes me sad to know how many people, mostly teenagers, pass every year from suicide. This is an extremely sensitive topic that most people try to avoid, but it is not something that should be avoided. I know that up until recently, conversion therapy was still active and legal in Utah, which is just horrible to think about. I think that the overall acceptance of people would be extremely useful in lowering the suicide rates. Also, there definitely needs to be more access to help for when someone needs it. I would love to read some potential solutions next from you!

December 17, 2020 10:46 am

I really appreciate your article “Teen Suicide in Utah” because it is very informative and raises awareness. Something that stood out to me was where you stated that Utah lacks in suicide prevention programs. This is something that should be more talked about as it is a rapidly increasing situation. People who are thinking about committing suicide should have somewhere to go and someone to talk to in order to prevent them from going through with it. Overall, this article was informative, and thank you for spreading awareness.
– Wendy

December 10, 2020 7:48 am

Zoe, I enjoyed reading this post because it informed me on the topic of teen suicide rates in Utah. As a resident born and raised, I know a lot of people who have struggled with severe depression and have either committed/ attempted to commit suicide. However, I am aware that depression is popular among this generation/ in general but I didn’t know Utah was the third-ranked state for suicide deaths ages 10-17. This post caught my eye because I can relate to it to my personal life, and is a topic you can always learn more about. I think you did a great job of explaining what possible causes could be for not going into deep research. I also liked how you included the LGBTQ community because it is an extremely difficult lifestyle to portray all over the world but specifically in Utah because of its high population in Mormonism. One thing I think you could have added was the programs the lowest states in the US had for suicide prevention in general, that provide statewide for their population in correlation to the lack thereof with Utah. how they differ and give a few direct suggestions for a future change!

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