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Gov. Herbert signs 5 bills aimed at suicide prevention

Posted at 10:43 PM, May 11, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY -- An average of 4,000 Utahns attempt suicide each year and more than 500 of them die from those attempts, according to the State Department of Health.

These figures have caused the state legislature to pass five different bills aimed at suicide prevention. On Monday, Gov. Gary Herbert held a ceremonial signing of those bills at the Utah State Capitol.

“Every life counts, every life is important,” Herbert said. “Some circumstances seem overwhelming we want to change that attitude.”

These bills are designed to create more public awareness when it comes to suicide.

HB 209, Suicide Prevention Program Amendments, will require certain professions to include suicide prevention training.

HB 128, Maintenance of School Records, will focus on record keeping within schools when it comes to suicide or bullying incidents.

HJR 12, Joint Resolution on Homelessness and Runaway Youth, will recognize November as homeless and runaway youth month.

HB 364, Suicide Prevention Amendments, will expand the role of the state suicide prevention coordinator and appropriates funds to the program.

SB 175, School Safety and Crisis Line, will expand the state suicide hotline while also adding texting capabilities.

Herbert said when you add it all together it provides the resources and hope needed to save lives.

"We shouldn't be afraid to talk about it, and we should not be ashamed about it, we should not be hesitant to talk about it, depression, hopelessness, despair, which we all at probably at some sort of fashion have in our lives, but we're able to control it, well others need help,” Herbert said.

The demographic that the state is particularly targeting when it comes to these bills is the youth of Utah. According to the state, the leading cause of death of children 10 to 17 is suicide.