SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has the seventh highest rate of suicide in the country, and the state is hoping to raise awareness and resources to help prevent suicide in Utah through the Generations Mental Health Conference.
The number of suicides in Utah has nearly doubled in the last seven years, and it’s the second leading cause of death in Utahns between the ages of 10 and 17.
The conference began Monday morning, and it was a joint effort by the Utah Department of Health and several other organizations. The conference provides training on screening, assessment and safety planning tools for suicide prevention.
Rick Hendy is a licensed clinical social worker with the Utah State Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and he said suicide is a problem that doesn’t get the attention it requires.
“We find often it’s not brought up directly,” he said. “There’s a myth that if you talk to people about suicide it puts the idea in their heads, and that’s just simply not true”
The goal of the conference is to make communication and getting help easier for those who may be feeling suicidal. The conference continues Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Salt Palace Convention Center.