SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – An hour-long radio special focused on Utah’s suicide epidemic and suicide prevention Friday morning.
Broadway Media presented “Out of Darkness,” a live panel discussion featuring “Radio from Hell” host Bill Allred and Mix 101.5 host Jon Watkins. Joining the panel were suicide prevention activists like Taryn Hiatt, a founder of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“Tell as many people as you need to,” she pleaded with listeners. “You don’t have to have this be your option.” Hiatt also talked about her own suicide attempt. According to the Utah Department of Health, suicide is the leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24 in Utah. It is the second leading cause of death in Utah among young adults aged 25-44.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox also joined the discussion, citing a study done recently among school-aged kids.
“We found that 25 percent were experiencing sadness or loneliness. 16 percent of those were thinking about suicide, and then 13 percent had some sort of plan. They actually figured out how they would do it if they chose to do it,” Cox said.
Panelists encouraged parents to talk openly about suicide with kids and ask them candidly if they have ever considered taking their own life. They said the conversation will help remove a culture of shame around the topic.
The panel discussion came a day before the annual Out of Darkness suicide prevention walk happening Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The walk will be held at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
If you or someone you love are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK.