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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes Recognizes World Suicide Prevention Day

SALT LAKE CITY September 10, 2017 – Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following extended statement marking World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, 2017.
 
“I appreciate the efforts of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) and all of its partners to educate the world on what is a global health threat. I join many other voices worldwide in support of raising awareness and resources to prevent a growing number of suicides. In the U.S., suicide is the tenth leading cause of death and a recent CDC study showed an increased suicide rate every year from 1999 to 2014 among both women and men and in every age group except those 75 and older. The rates of suicide for teens and Military Veterans are particularly alarming. Sadly, Utah is no exception.
 
“For the last three and a half years, the Office of the Utah Attorney General has led an effort to respond to increased teen suicide, the leading cause of death of Utah children, ages 10-17. We have teamed with legislators, state agencies, mental health clinicians, suicide prevention advocates, the faith community, educators, law enforcement, parents, and teens themselves to address the tragic reality that far too many of our youth feel there is no hope and life is not worth living.
 
“As we have traveled the state over the last several years, visiting with teens in groups or individually, so many of them have expressed feelings of being alone, judged, or without hope. While adolescence is or was a difficult transition time for nearly all of us, the isolation of today’s youth seems more prevalent and more deeply felt. Other factors like depression, being victims of bullying and abuse, eating disorders, drug use and addictions of various kinds, as well as other behavioral health and safety challenges can increase the risk of suicide among teens. 
 
“Because Utah has one of the highest rates of teen suicide in the nation, my office has been leading the School Safety and Crisis Line Commission which last year unveiled the new SafeUT app. It is currently introduced in schools throughout Utah. Those teens in crisis can now access live trained professionals at any time the way they are used to communicating: through a free app on their smart phones available across Android, Apple or other platforms. With the SafeUT app our kids are never alone. 
 
“We have also worked closely with legislators to create a three digit number similar to 911 in Utah for immediate response to mental health and behavioral crises, including thoughts of or attempts at suicide. This statewide effort has led to discussions and proposed legislation at a national level for a similar 911-type number.  
 
“Like teens, the number of Military Veterans losing their lives from suicide across our nation is staggering. Daily, those losses number twenty or more. Utah has lost its fair share of Veterans who were willing to give their lives for their country and instead lost them battling personal demons and enemies seen and unseen that were often related to their service. 
 
“We can all play a part in reversing Utah’s devastating trend of teen and Veteran suicide by having real conversations with friends, family, and neighbors. These may be difficult and uncomfortable discussions but the alternative–not communicating–rarely if ever leads to positive outcomes. I challenge all Utahns to engage daily in a positive way with teens and Veterans. Say hello. Recognize them. Smile. Be a mentor or friend. Find ways to connect and to serve them. While this is not a panacea or cure-all, it can go a long way to lifting someone out of darkness and despair. Truly, one of act of kindness can be the difference between life and death.”
 
 
 
 
 

 
Key Features of SafeUT
The SafeUT program and app help youth stay healthy and safe in schools by providing high-quality, confidential counseling services. The app’s key features include:

  • Anonymous, confidential, and password protected services
  • Real-time, two-way communication with SafeUT crisis counselors available 24/7
  • Tips can be submitted with picture and/or video
  • Mobile app works with Apple & Android devices

 
SafeUT’s Crisis Services
Safe UT answers crisis calls, texts, and chats – about yourself or someone else – 24/7. These services are anonymous and confidential. Our counseling topics include:

  • Suicide
  • Self-harm
  • Emotional crisis
  • Grief and loss
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Mental health
  • Abuse
  • Impact of domestic violence

 

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Statewide Crisis Line, Suicide Prevention Efforts Moving Forward

Commission will work towards a single, statewide mental health crisis line

SALT LAKE CITY April 11, 2017 – With Attorney General Sean Reyes, Utah legislators, and mental health professionals, and supporters looking on, Governor Gary Herbert ceremonially signed SB 37, as well as two amendments to suicide prevention statutes, moving the state one step closer to a statewide crisis line. Sponsored by Utah State Senator Daniel Thatcher and Representative Steve Eliason, along with co-sponsors Representative Carol Spackman Moss and Senator Curt Bramble, the new law creates a commission to consolidate local mental health crisis lines. By integrating existing efforts into a single crisis line, the commission is tasked to create a single statewide line connecting individuals in a mental health crisis with a mental or behavioral health professional easier.

“Today, we move towards a statewide solution for all citizens. Over the past two years we have been fortunate to work with a full team of state leaders and agencies to launch the SafeUT Crisis & Safety smartphone app for Utah students,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “This service has offered direct access to the world-renowned mental health crisis responders at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI). Since its launch, thousands of Utah students have reached out to UNI for confidential and anonymous two-way communication with crisis counselors which has resulted in saved lives and healthier youth. State legislators Sen. Daniel Thatcher and Rep. Steve Eliason, sponsors of the Student Safety and Crisis Line Commission, have also led the efforts for a statewide Mental Health Crisis Line Commission. Today, as Governor Herbert signs their legislation, Utah is positioned to continue to lead the nation in this critically important response to those in mental health crisis.”

“The end goal of this legislation is simply that a plea for help will never go unanswered,” said Utah Representative Steve Eliason.

“I have never known a world without 911,” said Senator Daniel Thatcher.  “In fact, it is difficult to even imagine not knowing where to turn for physical crisis services. Yet, almost 50 years later, that is exactly where we are with Mental Health. We now know that a behavioral or mental health crisis can be just as dangerous, and requires a very different type of response.  Utah’s Mental Health Crisis Line Commission is the answer we have been looking for.”

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