LOGAN, Utah (ABC4) – Cache County is dealing with an uptick in suicides this year. Officials are now taking action. 

“I actually had a cousin who died by suicide last January, um, and a close friend of mine, her son died by suicide that same month as well,”

Emily Jewkes works at the Bear River Health Department.

She says she’s seen a different problem plaguing cache county, aside from the pandemic, suicide.

“And maybe they didn’t reach out because they were afraid of the stigma, which is the big thing we need to address, I feel like, locally and nationally,” says Jewkes.

David Zook is the newest Cache County Executive. He learned about the crisis after hearing from the head of Victim Services.

“In the first two months this year, we’ve already had 13, I thought this is an emergency, we need to do something about this,” says Zook.

Officials say there have been more suicides in the past two months than they had all year in 2020. That’s why Zook started a local emergency task force.

“Everyone’s been encouraged to stay apart from others and people feel alone and feel disconnected and there’s been social distance and we feel it’s time for people to socially reconnect,” says Zook.

Zook says the majority of these victims, are younger men.

“I just think people need to know it’s okay to get help, if you are struggling with loneliness, or mental health issues such as depression anxiety, any of those mental health issues, there is help out there,” says Jewkes.

Jewkes and Zook encourage families to have the difficult discussions and know it’s okay to reach out for help.

I Am Still Here; Suicide Prevention Series | The Family Place (thefamilyplaceutah.org)

Counseling Services – Bear River Health Department (brhd.org)

Suicide Prevention Resources in Utah (intermountainhealthcare.org)