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Opinion: If this will prevent teen suicides, why don’t we do it?

Utah has the 6th highest suicide rate in the nation. If wellness centers will help kids, let’s do it

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Kelly Schaub, wellness center coordinator at Westlake High School, talks to KSL reporter Cassidy Wixom in the school’s wellness center in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.

Ben B. Braun, Deseret News

Regarding “Can a place to decompress at high school help prevent suicides?” by Cassidy Wixom, published on Oct. 8.

According to a report by the University of Utah Health, Utah’s suicide rate is the sixth highest suicide rate in the United States. This is completely unacceptable. We, as citizens of Utah, need to be doing more to help educate and prevent this rate from increasing any further.

Wellness centers should be implemented in all high schools and middle schools in Utah, providing a convenient and easy place for students to get help processing their feelings, emotions and problems. All wellness centers should have licensed therapists on staff that can help students work through their problems, giving the students a trusted adult to confide in, which the students may not have otherwise.

Even though negative social stigma regarding mental health has gotten better, it is still out there, and a lot of people do not receive help due to this stigma. Implementing wellness centers in all schools would help reduce the social stigma regarding mental health and receiving help for these services for teenagers in the state, hopefully leading to fewer suicides among that population.  

Leisa Bolander

Provo