This month is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. Utah and the rest of the states in the Intermountain West rank in the top ten for death by suicide.
Utah ranks fifth in suicide rates, behind Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, and New Mexico. Elizabeth Brutsch is an injury epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health.
"Utah has historically had a significantly higher rate of suicide fatalities compared to the national rate. In recent years we’ve just continued to see that increase," Brutsh says.
Data from the Utah Department of Health shows the rate of suicide deaths has nearly doubled over the last decade, with year-over-year increases through 2016.
In response, the department is developing a suite of services including mobile crisis outreach to meet people in rural Utah, the SafeUT app for individuals to chat with a licensed crisis worker, and outreach campaigns to firearm retailers and gun clubs.