SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Health officials say death by suicide is on the rise in Utah.
Congressman Ben McAdams introduced a piece of legislation to fund research about the epidemic.
DeAnn Kettenring from Lehi attended the round table.
Kettenring says this issue hits close to home because she says over the past week three school-aged children in her community have died by suicide.
“It’s hard for kids. I had a mother call me last night ‘how do I talk to my child about this? How do I help them understand why this is happening?’ And I think there is a lot of disconnect in parents don’t know how to talk they don’t know how to bring this up because of the stigma of suicide,” Lehi resident DeAnn Kettenring said.
Kettenring hopes Congressman McAdams’ legislation will help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide.
State numbers show death by suicide is the number one leading cause of death in people ages 15-24.
New numbers from the state health department show last year 666 people died by suicide. Here’s is a break down of rates by age range: Age 10-17: 40, 18-24: 93, 25-64: 462, 65+ 71.
McAdam’s bill is called the Advancing Research to Prevent Suicide Act.
It directs the National Science Foundation to fund research grants across a range of disciplines.
The goal is to understand why the rate of Americans dying by suicide is on the rise.
“Researchers need more funding and they need more support to conduct the foundation research health care officials new and better tools,” Congressman McAdams said.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal tendencies there are support groups and resources to take advantage of.