Family of man who lit himself on fire frustrated with mental health care system

Local News
SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – The family of an Ogden man who lit himself on fire on Thursday at a Kaysville gas station is speaking out to raise awareness about mental illness.
 
Tyler Ivison’s sisters said he’s been battling mental illness for the last five years, but didn’t receive an official diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder until February of this year.
 
After his second suicide attempt, Budge said their family requested in-patient care for Ivison, but doctors released him after only four days in hospital.
 
“They sent him on his way without no treatment plan, just some meds to deal with,” said Budge. “We’ve fought and fought for him to get more help.”
 
On Thursday, Kaysville police said Ivison walked into a convenience store bathroom, doused himself with gasoline, and then and set himself on fire.

“I wasn’t surprised when I heard the news,” said Templeton. “Each episode kept getting more and more frequent, and he wasn’t getting adequate care quick enough to fight it.”

Six officers were injured trying to put out the fire.

“He had no intention of harming the police officers,” said Templeton. “This is mental health at its craziest. This is psychosis.”

Templeton said psychosis is a disorder that caused her brother to black out and become unaware of his actions.
They said Thursday was his third suicide attempt.

“The mental health care system has failed him,” said Budge. “If he got the help that he needed, what happened on Thursday could have been prevented.”

Budge said part of the reason why they’re advocating for mental health awareness is because law enforcement are at the forefront of the crisis.

“Our police officers are the ones that have to take on the bulk of this crisis,” said Budge. “We can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done, for saving my brother.”

All six Kaysville police officers are expected to make a full recovery. But as for Ivision, his sisters said he is still fighting for his life at the hospital. They hoping for a full recovery so that he could go back to being the brother that they know.

“If everything were to go to plan, Tyler will be on 25 acres of farmland with his animals by a pond,” said Templeton.

Ivison’s friends and family have set up a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses. To donate, click here

The Utah Department of Health would like to remind Utahns that suicide is preventable. If you or someone you know needs help, there’s the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For more information, visit utahsuicideprevention.org.

For those needing help with mental illness for themselves or someone they know: NAMI Utah (National Alliance on Mental Illness (801) 323-9900.

If you have an emergency, please call 911 and ask for a CIT officer.

If you are dealing with an urgent situation, please call the Behavioral Health Authority Crisis Line for your county. The Salt Lake County UNI Crisis Line is 801-587-3000. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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