(The Daily Dish) Today Nicea and Surae are sitting down to talk about an important issue with Allison Foust – Suicide Prevention Administrator with the Utah Department of Human Services and Chair of the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition.
The holidays can be an overwhelming and stressful time. For some it can be an incredibly lonely and painful time. We want to encourage all Utahns to learn the warning signs for suicide so that they are able to recognize when family members, friends, or coworkers may be struggling.
- Talk of suicide, including phrases like “I just want to go to sleep and never wake up,” or “If x happens, I’ll kill myself.”
- Talk of feeling hopeless, including phrases like, “What is the point?” and “Nothing is going to get better.”
- Talk of feeling like a burden, including phrases like, “They would be better off without me.”
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from activities
- Looking for methods to kill themselves
- Isolation from family and friends
- Change in sleeping habits
- Depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability, humiliation, agitation or rage
- A sudden unexplained calm or euphoria after a long period of depression
- Saying goodbyes or giving away possessions
Every 5 years, the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition publishes a new plan to prevent suicide in Utah. This plan, released October 21, 2021, focuses on:
- Increase access to mental health and behavioral health services.
- Reduce stigma around mental/behavioral health issues.
- Create safe environments for schools, workplaces, congregations, etc.
- Teach coping skills for youth and adults.
- Provide support for people who are grieving.
- Collect data to inform future prevention strategies.
By doing ALL of these things, they believe it’s possible to reduce suicides in the state. An important component of the state plan for preventing suicide is encouraging people to seek help and access resources through Live On Utah.
Live On is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing our culture around suicide and mental health. If you are listening to or reading this message, you play a role in suicide prevention
You can Visit their website for both English and Spanish-language resources on how to get help and give help. To learn more about how state and local partners are working together on a comprehensive approach to prevent suicide, you can also view the state plan on this same website.
During the pandemic there was not an increase in suicide deaths. But there was an increase in the number of people who contacted the Utah Crisis Line, suggesting that more Utahns are seeking help and receiving resources.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, the Utah Crisis Line (in association with the National Suicide Prevention lifeline) is available. Call (800) 273-TALK (8255) or you can visit the Live On website for additional resources.