The public discussion around Utah’s suicide epidemic is yielding results. I joined KSL’s Doug Wright twice over the past week, to discuss the alarming rate of suicide among teens in Utah. (You can listen here).
I’ve written before about the need for a three digit crisis line, and was grateful to work with Rep. Steve Eliason and Sen. Daniel Thatcher as they ran legislation to start that process in Utah. I was also thrilled last week to see Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Chris Stewart introduce legislation in Congress to do the same thing at the national level.
My heart aches for these families, and I know what it’s like to have a child struggle with this. We need to completely erase the stigma around mental health conversations in our community. Any child should feel just as comfortable approaching their parents with an emotional/mental health challenge as they would with a physical illness or injury.
We also need to erase the uncertainty parents feel when their children do come to them with thoughts of suicide. Every parent should know they have a place to turn. I believe—in addition to the wildly successful SafeUT app—the three digit crisis line is one piece in helping provide that certainty. We are lucky to have the UNI crisis line here in Salt Lake County at 801-587-3000, for those who need to speak with a therapist on a free, anonymous and confidential call.
Aimee Winder Newton has been serving on the Salt Lake County Council since January 2014. She is the current chair of the council. Her district encompasses Murray, Taylorsville, West Valley City and West Jordan, and a small portion of South Salt Lake and Millcreek... [read more]