Two million dollars added to the fight against suicides in Utah thanks to private and public funding.

It’s a cause the vast majority of Utahns have a personal connection to.

“In the past 5 years we’ve lost 3200 Utahns to suicide which is more than the combined population of Daggett and Piute counties, and in the last year alone we’ve lost more than the entire population of Huntsville,” said Rep. Steve Eliason (R- Sandy) during a news conference Monday.

Eliason is the sponsor of House Bill 393 which provided $700,000 this year for suicide prevention, available only if the private sector matched the contribution. And it has. The fund now holds more than $200,000,000.

The funds come from a variety of healthcare, business, and community groups, including the Utah Legislature, Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and donations from tax returns that have totaled nearly $25,000 from people across the state.

Rep. Eliason said those funds will focus on radio, TV, social media, and other campaigns aimed to reach people in different sectors of society, “Letting them know that there’s help available and it’s perfectly acceptable [they are] encouraged to reach out for help.”

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox ended the new conference with a reminder: 100 percent of suicides are preventable.

If you or someone you love is in crisis, there is a hotline available 24/7. Just call 1-800-273-8255.

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