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Sean D. Reyes
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Utah Clergy Trained on SafeUT App and to Assist Teens in Crisis

AG Reyes, Sen. Thatcher, and SafeUT Commission Urge Churches and

Youth to Seek Summer Crisis Support through SafeUT

SALT LAKE CITY June 6, 2016 — Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, State Senator Daniel Thatcher and University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) representatives conducted a training for clergy from across the state on how to use SafeUT app to help teens in crisis. The training, known as “safeTALK,” is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.

“Suicide is the number one cause of death in our state for children ages 10-17. In fact, the number of teens taking their own lives exceeds the next three teen causes of death all combined,” said Attorney General Reyes. “In the short time since we have introduced the SafeUT app we have already seen kids empowered and lives saved. Today’s training of clergy, from various denominations and ministries, is critical because these men and women yield such influence with the youth in their spiritual care. Our collaboration with clergy, schools, law enforcement, all members of the community along with the professionals at UNI is vital to saving lives.”

“What makes SafeUT so exceptional is that we’ve found a way to connect the people who are in crisis with those who can help,” said Senator Daniel Thatcher. “Suicide is the single deadliest crisis facing our youth. With the SafeUT mobile app, an anonymous chat, text or call could save your life or the life of someone you love. It’s the only way we can tackle something of this magnitude.”

During the six months since the SafeUT app was unveiled, it has been introduced to schools across the state. UNI Representatives have received feedback indicating that the app is working and that lives are being saved. The SafeUT Mobile App provides students confidential and anonymous two-way communication with SafeUT crisis counselors or school staff via one-touch options to “Call Crisisline,” “Chat Crisisline,” or “Submit a Tip.” Students using the mobile app will connect directly to a UNI crisis counselor at the UNI CrisisLine and those calling will be routed to the same. For those who do not have access to a smart phone, the Lifeline number 1-800-273-8255 is also supported by UNI.

Students can download the SafeUT Mobile app at any time and will receive training on how to use SafeUT Services by their school administrators.  The first round of Utah school administrators were trained over the past six months on school implementation. Utah schools are currently participating or will have the opportunity to participate over the next year, but it is not mandatory. As schools enroll in the program, an online tool will be shared to allow students to report crisis or crime through their school’s website.

Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. Helpers trained in safeTALK can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources. safeTALK-trained helpers are an important part of suicide-safer communities, working alongside intervention resources to identify and avert suicide risks.

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