Suicide Prevention

Overview

Youth suicide is a serious public health issue in Utah, with the state consistently ranking in the top five of the nation with the most significant mental health concerns. From 2011 to 2015, Utah saw a 141% increase in suicides among youth ages 10-17, compared to an increase of 23.5% nationally. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among Utah youth have also increased. According to the 2017 Utah Youth Risk Behavior Survey, within the past 12 months 24.9% of Utah students reported they felt sad or hopeless, 16% reported they seriously considered attempting suicide, and 7.1% reported attempting suicide at least once.

A community and state-wide emphasis on prevention is needed. Schools play a critical role in suicide prevention for current and future students and need more knowledge about the warning signs of suicide and how to facilitate opportunities to strengthen mental well-being. 

Utah Health Status Update: Center for Disease Control (CDC) Investigation Shows Youth Suicides in Utah Increasing
Utah Department of Health

Warning Signs

There is hope and there is help. Visit Youth Suicide Warning Signs for additional resources on how to respond to recognized risk.

Listen For:

  • Talk of suicide: “I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. “if ____happens, I’ll kill myself.”
  • Talk of feeling hopeless: “What is the point? Nothing is going to get better.”
  • Talk of feeling like a burden to others. “They would be better off without me.”

Watch For:

  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Displaying one or more of the following moods: depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability, humiliation, agitation, rage
  • Exhibiting a sudden or unexplained calm or euphoria after a long period of depression
  • Saying goodbyes or tying up loose ends

Calendar

Meetings

Suicide Prevention Advisory Meetings

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Basement West Conference Room

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Time: 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: USBE Conference Room 156

Conferences

Preventing and Responding to Suicide in Schools

Date: January 11, 2019
Time: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Viridian Events Center
8030 South 1825 West
West Jordan, Utah 84088

Programs for Youth Protection and Parent Seminars

Title 53G-9-703: Parent Education. Mental Health. Bullying. Safety
Utah State Legislature

I. A school district shall offer a seminar for parents of students in the school district that:

  1. is offered at no cost to parents;
  2. begins at or after 6 p.m.
  3. is held in at least one school located in the school district; and
  4. covers the following topics:

a. substance abuse, including illegal drugs and prescription drugs and prevention;
b. bullying;
c. mental health, depression, suicide awareness, and suicide prevention, including education on limiting access to fatal means;
d. internet safety, including pornography addiction; and
e. the School Safety and Crisis Line

II. A school district shall annually offer one parent seminar for each 11,000 students enrolled in the school district. A school district may not be required to offer more than three seminars.

III. A school district is not required to offer the parent seminar is the local school board determines that the topics described are not of significant interest or value to families in the school district. If a local school board chooses not to offer the parent seminar, the local school board shall notify the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and provide reasons why the local school board chose not to offer the parent seminar.

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) has developed the following curriculum to support Programs for Youth Protection and Parent Seminars in your school district:

Resources

The following resources may be used to support Parent Seminars.

Bullying

StopBullying
Learn ways that parents, school staff, and other caring adults can help kids prevent bullying.

Internet Safety and Pornography Addiction

Common Sense Media
The leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. Common empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.

Fight the New Drug
A non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts

NetSafe Utah
Provides online videos and resources for kids, teens, parents and educators, including Internet Safety information that Utah schools need to meet the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements.

SafeUT Crisis Text and Tip Line
A statewide service that provides real-time crisis intervention to youth through texting and a confidential tip program. 

Mental Health, Depression, Suicide Awareness and Suicide Prevention, Limiting Access to Fatal Means

Firearms Safety-Teen Suicide
Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition
Is Your Safety On?  Learn about how to recognize a crisis and keep your loved one safe.

It's Time to Talk about it: A Family Guide for Youth Suicide Prevention
Prevent Suicide PA (PSPA)
A guide to help family members recognize the warning signs and risk factors of suicide in order to be able to identify these signs in youth, with information of how to access help.

Raising Children in Challenging Times
Jordan School District

Substance Abuse

Parents Empowered
A media and education campaign funded by the Utah Legislature and designed to prevent and reduce underage drinking in Utah by providing parents and guardians with information about the harmful effects of alcohol on the developing teen brain, along with proven skills for preventing underage alcohol use.

Resources

How Schools Can Take Action

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) recommends the following action steps for schools:

  • Promote emotional well-being and connectedness among all students.
  • Identify students who may be at risk for suicide and assist them in getting help.
  • Be prepared to respond when a suicide death occurs.

Although there are many other resources available for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention, these are just a few resources that you might find helpful.

SOS Signs of Suicide
Screening for Mental Health (SMH), Inc.
Provides tools to help youth identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide, and self-injury in themselves and their peers.

PREPaRE
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
The PREPaRE training curriculum and model outlines the duties of the members of a school safety and crisis team during the four state of a crisis:

  • prevention,
  • preparedness,
  • response, and
  • recovery.

The PREPaRE curriculum provides foundation knowledge provided by the United States Departments of Education and Homeland Security and also incorporates the incident command structure as outlined by the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

13 Reasons Why
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
A complied list of commonly asked questions about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, with accompanying resources to help parents, schools, members of the media, and community leaders discuss the series and promote awareness about suicide prevention.

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
This toolkit is designed to assist schools in the aftermath of a suicide (or other death) in the school community. 

Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
This toolkit provides guidance on how to reduce risk among high school students.

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS)
Information about teen suicide and links to many resources for educators, parents, and teens can be found on this website.

The Jason Foundation
Dedicated to the prevention of the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide through educational and awareness programs that equip young people, educators/youth workers and parents with the tools and resources to help identify and assist at-risk youth.

The Role of High School Teachers in Preventing Suicide
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Provides information and resources on suicide prevention for high school teachers.

The Trevor Project
A leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questions (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

Native Americans

Center for Native American Youth
The Aspen Institute
An educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.

Suicide
WERNATIVE: For Native Youth, by Native Youth
Suicide prevention resources and coping strategies for Native American youth.

Suicide Prevention and Care Program
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Despite the strengths of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) families and communities, suicide remains a devastating and all too frequent event. Complex, interrelated factors contribute to an increased suicide risk among AI/AN people and include mental health disorders, substance abuse, intergenerational trauma, and community-wide issues. Factors that protect AI/AN youth and young adults against suicidal behavior are a sense of belonging to one's culture, a strong tribal/spiritual bond, the opportunity to discuss problems with family or friends, feeling connected to family, and positive emotional health.

To Live To See the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Suicide prevention curriculum geared toward American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults

Parents

Children, Teens and Suicide Loss
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

Resources
The Sharing Place: Grief Support for Children

Regulations

R277-620: Suicide Prevention Programs
Utah Office of Administrative Rules

The purposes of this rule are:

  1. to provide for collaboration with the Department of Health and Department of Human Services to establish, oversee, and provide model policies, programs for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and training for parents about youth suicide prevention programs;
  2. to require LEAs to have and update youth protection policies; and (3) to direct LEAs to send notice to parents and protect the confidentiality of the required parent notification record regarding bullying and suicide incidents.

Title 53F-5-206: Grant Awards for Elementary Suicide Prevention Programs 
Utah State Legislature

  • Provides an overview of grant awards for elementary suicide prevention programs to foster suicide prevention, resiliency, and anti-bullying programs in elementary schools.

Title 53G-9-702: Youth Suicide Prevention Programs Required in Secondary Schools, State Board of Education to Develop Model Programs, Reporting Requirements
Utah State Board of Education (USBE) School Counseling Programs

USBE Suicide Prevention Media Channel

The Suicide Prevention YouTube Channel provides supplementary recorded webinars, suicide prevention training, and video resources.

Youth Suicide Prevention in Utah Schools

Training

The Utah State Legislature's Administrative Code Title 53G-9-704: Youth Suicide Prevention Training for Employees requires suicide prevention training for licensed employees.

  1. A school district or charter school shall require a licensed employee to complete a minimum of two hours of professional development training on youth suicide prevention every three years.
  2. The board shall:

a. develop or adopt sample materials to be used by a school district or charter school for professional development training on youth suicide prevention; and 
b. in rule made in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, incorporate the training described in Subsection (1) into professional development training described in Section 53E-6-201. 

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
Living Works Education
A two-day workshop that teaches participants to carry out life-saving interventions for people at risk.

Question. Persuade. Refer. (QPR) Institute
The mission of QPR is to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training.

safeTALK
Living Works Education
A half-day workshop that prepares participants to identify those with thoughts of suicide and connect them with life-saving first aid resources.

Suicide Prevention Training for Licensing
Utah Education Network (UEN)

Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid
Designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people.

Suicide Prevention Summit Part 1

September 6, 2017

Agenda

Presentations:

Resources:

Media Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)

Lifeline Materials
Download logos, order brochures, and find recommendations to help raise awareness online or cover issues of suicide in the news.

National Suicide Prevention Logo English

National Suicide Prevention Logo Spanish

Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Suicide Prevention Media Channel

The Suicide Prevention YouTube Channel provides supplementary recorded webinars, suicide prevention training, and video resources.

Youth Suicide Prevention in Utah Schools

Help is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

If you live in Utah, call the Statewide Crisis Line at 1 (801) 587-3000 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or dial 911.

Contacts

Cathy Davis
Education Specialist
Suicide prevention and postvention support; Programs for Youth Protection/Parent Seminar; Suicide Prevention Training for Educators/re-licensing
Phone: (801) 538-7861 | E-mail

Jenny Hamilton
Support Staff
Phone: (801) 538-7640 | E-mail