Utah mom thanks teacher who intervened in student’s suicide attempt

Posted at 9:47 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 08:30:29-04

SPANISH FORK - An emotional Spanish Fork mother had a special message for a teacher who saved her son's life.

"Thank you: My son's still alive," she said. "Thank you."

The mom says the teacher's action helped police stop her son from committing suicide. Fox 13 isn't naming the mom or the student due to privacy reasons.

"He said a couple times, 'I wish I wasn't here. I wish I could just die," the mom said of her son, who attends Landmark High School. "[But] then so many other times he told us, 'I'd never do something like that.'"

According to the mom, her son said he wasn't feeling well and wanted to leave school early. However, after he left, the teacher heard something different from students.

"A teacher overheard some students talking about why he left and that he was going to go kill himself, and the teacher did the most immediate, right thing she could have done," the mother added.

She said someone from the school called her husband and police right away. It ended up being a crucial decision because the mom was asleep inside the home when her son came home and started taking expired prescription pills.

Because she works the night shift, the mom believes she may not have woken up if it weren't for the police knocking on the front door.

"The one thing I wonder is, had none of that happened, and not knowing he was home, would I have woken up at my alarm clock and found out he was successful?" the mother wondered.

The State Health Department released numbers Tuesday showing that suicide continues to be the leading cause of death for kids ages 10-17, and in Utah 425 deaths by suicide have already happened in 2017.

"We're just so grateful that she could act so quickly," said Lana Hiskey with the Nebo School District.

She said that teachers and counselors continue to get suicide prevention training as the problem continues to grow.

"Even with all that training, what made that wonderful is that she acted on it and acted appropriately," Hiskey added.

The mom notes that suicide prevention hotlines made a difference for her when she was a kid. She hopes that anyone who hears something will say something.

"With teenagers these days, which time do you take it seriously?" she asked. "My answer is: every single time."

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the numbers below for help:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
U of U Health Care CrisisLine: 801-587-3000