Teen suicide prevention will be the topic of a roundtable discussion Friday as Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, brings together experts to discuss what works and what's needed to save young lives.
A Utah Department of Health report this summer found that in Utah, suicide has become the leading cause of death for youths ages 10-17. The Beehive State had the eighth-highest suicide rate in the country over the last three years measured.
"In less than a decade, teen suicide has nearly tripled in Utah, and far too many grieving families are left wondering why," Hatch said in a written statement promoting the roundtable. "Local leaders are rising to the challenge with new, creative prevention and support efforts. I appreciate their efforts and I am committed to supporting them on behalf of Utah families."
Besides Hatch, participants will include several state legislators, as well as experts from the University of Utah, Intermountain HealthCare, the Utah State Board of Education, Hope4Utah, National Alliance on Mental Illness, University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute, Primary Children's Hospital, Utah Department of Health, Utah Navajo Health System and Syracuse High.
Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock said in advance of the roundtable, members of the senator's staff have been meeting in different locations around the state with leaders and groups that have been tackling the issue of teen suicide and collaborating to find solutions.
The gathering at East High School in Salt Lake City Friday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m., will not be open to the public, but it will be live-streamed on Hatch's Facebook page.