ALPINE (News4Utah) -The reigning Mrs. Utah is a busy mother of six who’s using her position to prevent teen suicide.
Robin Towle says she didn’t think she would win the title of 2018 Mrs. Utah. She described the moment last March when her name was announced.
“It was surreal,” Towle told News4Utah. “When they put that crown on my head I think that’s the moment when they put my sash on it hit me that I was actually Mrs. Utah.”
Robin is doing a lot more than wearing a sash and tiara these days – she’s taking on Utah’s leading killer of children 10 to 17 years old.
It’s an issue that has personally affected Robin. Her son attended Lone Peak High School when there were a rash of student suicides here. She feared that he would be next.
“My son had anxiety and it turned into depression,” Towle said. “It was really devastating. I started having panic attacks. I would wake up at 3 in the morning with my heart racing. I’d want to go check on my son and sometimes I’d be afraid to and it was terrifying.”
Her son got through his teenage years but many others do not. In 2017 there were 44 teen suicides in Utah. 44 too many for Robin who teamed with a licensed social worker to create Sign Wolf Pact, a bi-weekly program for teenagers.
“It teaches kids positive life skills to help them be more resilient and more inclusive and kind,” Towle said. “One of the main things of this program is positive affirmation to try and call attention to these kids about what we’re thinking. Because if we can retrain the brain to think a different way and to have positive thoughts then those thoughts will be what will flourish.”
She’s also spreading her message of self acceptance with a new movie called “Room Enough”.
“The movie is about inclusion and it’s about a young man who was trying to find his place and he feels like he just couldn’t fit or didn’t belong,” Towle said. “It’s not easy to try and be someone else, to fit in someone else’s mold but if you can truly figure out who you are, what you believe in and embrace that, then you’re so much stronger going forward.”
Next week Towle will take her anti-suicide platform nationwide when she competes in the Mrs. America Pageant in Las Vegas.
You can learn more about Sign Wolf Pact at https://www.signwolfpact.org/about.html