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Suicide is a bigger problem in Utah than in most states, and celebrity deaths make it worse

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 20:00:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- When Marilyn Monroe killed herself in 1962, the national suicide rate spiked 12 percent the following month, with an estimated 303 more deaths.

After Robin Williams death in 2014, suicide rates increased about 10 percent for five months afterwards, triggering an estimated 1,841 more suicides.

Celebrity deaths cause serious repercussions and the United States is already experiencing a suicide epidemic.

A new report on suicide from the Centers for Disease Control shows a 25.4 percent increase in suicides nationwide from 1999 to 2016.

In that same period, suicide in Utah increased 46.5 percent.

Julia Hood, the Chief Clinical Officer for Valley Behavioral Health says the key is to get help for a person thinking about suicide.

"I think it's really important to continue to encourage people to seek mental health treatment and substance use treatment to break down that stigma," Hood said.