Suicide Prevention


Youth suicide is a serious public health issue in Utah, with the state consistently ranking in the top five of the nation with the most significant mental health concerns. From 2011 to 2015, Utah saw a 141% increase in suicides among youth ages 10-17, compared to an increase of 23.5% nationally. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among Utah youth have also increased. According to the 2017 Utah Youth Risk Behavior Survey, within the past 12 months 24.9% of Utah students reported they felt sad or hopeless, 16% reported they seriously considered attempting suicide, and 7.1% reported attempting suicide at least once.

A community and state-wide emphasis on prevention is needed. Schools play a critical role in suicide prevention for current and future students and need more knowledge about the warning signs of suicide and how to facilitate opportunities to strengthen mental well-being.

Utah Health Status Update: Center for Disease Control (CDC) Investigation Shows Youth Suicides in Utah Increasing
Utah Department of Health

Warning Signs

There is Hope and There is Help

Visit Youth Suicide Warning Signs for additional resources on how to respond to recognized risk.

Listen for:

  • Talk of suicide: "I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. if ____happens, I'll kill myself."
  • Talk of feeling hopeless: "What is the point? Nothing is going to get better."
  • Talk of feeling like a burden to others. "They would be better off without me."

Watch for:

  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Displaying one or more of the following moods: depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability, humiliation, agitation, rage
  • Exhibiting a sudden or unexplained calm or euphoria after a long period of depression
  • Saying goodbyes or tying up loose ends



Suicide Prevention Advisory Meetings

Information coming soon.


Preventing and Responding to Suicide in Schools

Information coming soon.



House Bill (H.B.) 329: Programs for Youth Protection
Utah State Legislature

H.B.329 provides money for schools to implement evidence-based practices and programs, or emerging best practices and programs, for preventing suicide. It states, "The board shall distribute money under Subsection (5) (a) so that each school that enrolls students in grade 7 [if a middle or junior high school includes grade 6, include grade 6] or a higher grade receives an allocation of at least $500, or a lesser amount per school if the legislative appropriation is not sufficient to provide at least $500 per school."

The Local Education Agency (LEA) school(s) may use the money to select and implement the evidence-based practices and programs, or emerging best practices and programs, for preventing suicide. The money will be awarded equally to the qualified schools within the LEA for submission of a LEA-wide application. Each school may select the evidence-based practices and programs, or emerging best practices and programs for preventing suicide, that the school would like to implement, with a three-year commitment to prevention. Use of funds shall remain consistent with the Utah Office of Administrative Rules R277-620-3-2: Board, Utah State Board of Education and LEA Responsibilities. The funds are to be used specifically to:

  1. strengthen current prevention, intervention or postvention programs, or
  2. purchase prevention, intervention, or postvention curriculum to enhance what is presently being used, or
  3. purchase prevention, intervention or postvention curriculum to start a suicide prevention program.

House Bill (H.B.) 346: Suicide Prevention Programs
Utah State Legislature

Passed in April 2017, it provides grant awards for elementary programs:

  1. to foster peer-to-peer suicide prevention, resiliency, and anti-bullying programs in elementary schools, the public education suicide prevention coordinator, described in the Utah State Legislature Title 53F-5-206: Grant Awards for Elementary Suicide Prevention Programs, subject to legislative appropriations, award grants to elementary schools.
  2. a grant award may not exceed $500 per school per year.
  3. the application for a grant shall contain:

a. a requested award amount;
b. a budget; and
c. narrative plan of the peer-to-peer suicide prevention, resiliency, or antibullying program.


Healing Our Schools After a Loss Toolkit

The Healing Our Schools After a Loss Toolkit assists Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in implementing a coordinated response to the death of a student, staff, or community member. The toolkit includes information and resources to help the school community cope and reduce further risk.

Highlights within the toolkit include:

  • Information regarding memorialization, milestones, and anniversaries of the event
  • A comprehensive day to day checklist for response
  • Templates for releasing notification letters to students, parents, and fellow educators

This toolkit has an accompanying Canvas course that will be available soon. For more information, contact Cathy Davis at or Michelle Knight at

Firearm Safety and Suicide Prevention Education

Increasing the time and distance between a person in suicidal crisis and their access to lethal means can reduce suicide risk and save lives.

HB 481 (2023) Firearm Safety and Suicide Prevention Education takes effect on August 1, 2023 and modifies the suicide prevention materials and information a school shall provide a parent of a student in certain circumstances and amends 53G-9-601 and 53G-9-604.

To comply with this statute, the following suicide prevention materials and information on limiting a student’s access to fatal means, including a firearm or medication have been selected:

4 Simple Steps To A Medication-Safe Home  
The Jed Foundation

4 Simple Steps To A Medication-Safe Home

When Firearm Safety and Safe Storage is Your Goal 
Intermountain Healthcare

Your Child Has Talked About Ending Their Life: Whats Next?

Your Child Has Talked About Ending Their Life: Whats Next? (Spanish)

Side Effects of Social Media

How Schools Can Take Action

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) recommends the following action steps for schools:

  • Promote emotional well-being and connectedness among all students.
  • Identify students who may be at risk for suicide and assist them in getting help.
  • Be prepared to respond when a suicide death occurs.

Although there are many other resources available for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention, these are just a few resources that you might find helpful.

Suicide Prevention: SOS Signs of Suicide Program
MindWise Innovations
Provides tools to help youth identify the signs and symptoms of depression, suicide, and self-injury in themselves and their peers.

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
The PREPaRE training curriculum and model outlines the duties of the members of a school safety and crisis team during the four state of a crisis:

  • prevention,
  • preparedness,
  • response, and
  • recovery.

The PREPaRE curriculum provides foundation knowledge provided by the United States Departments of Education and Homeland Security and also incorporates the incident command structure as outlined by the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

13 Reasons Why
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
A complied list of commonly asked questions about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, with accompanying resources to help parents, schools, members of the media, and community leaders discuss the series and promote awareness about suicide prevention.

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
This toolkit is designed to assist schools in the aftermath of a suicide (or other death) in the school community.

Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
This toolkit provides guidance on how to reduce risk among high school students.

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS)
Information about teen suicide and links to many resources for educators, parents, and teens can be found on this website.

The Jason Foundation
Dedicated to the prevention of the "Silent Epidemic" of youth suicide through educational and awareness programs that equip young people, educators/youth workers and parents with the tools and resources to help identify and assist at-risk youth.

The Role of High School Teachers in Preventing Suicide
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Provides information and resources on suicide prevention for high school teachers.

The Trevor Project
A leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questions (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

Native Americans

Center for Native American Youth
The Aspen Institute
An educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.

WERNATIVE: For Native Youth, by Native Youth
Suicide prevention resources and coping strategies for Native American youth.

Suicide Prevention and Care Program
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Despite the strengths of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) families and communities, suicide remains a devastating and all too frequent event. Complex, interrelated factors contribute to an increased suicide risk among AI/AN people and include mental health disorders, substance abuse, intergenerational trauma, and community-wide issues. Factors that protect AI/AN youth and young adults against suicidal behavior are a sense of belonging to one's culture, a strong tribal/spiritual bond, the opportunity to discuss problems with family or friends, feeling connected to family, and positive emotional health.

To Live To See the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Suicide prevention curriculum geared toward American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults


Children, Teens and Suicide Loss
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

The Sharing Place: Grief Support for Children


R277-620: Suicide Prevention Programs
Utah Office of Administrative Rules

The purposes of this rule are:

  1. to provide for collaboration with the Department of Health and Department of Human Services to establish, oversee, and provide model policies, programs for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and training for parents about youth suicide prevention programs;
  2. to require LEAs to have and update youth protection policies; and (3) to direct LEAs to send notice to parents and protect the confidentiality of the required parent notification record regarding bullying and suicide incidents.

Title 53F-5-206: Grant Awards for Elementary Suicide Prevention Programs
Utah State Legislature

  • Provides an overview of grant awards for elementary suicide prevention programs to foster suicide prevention, resiliency, and anti-bullying programs in elementary schools.

Title 53G-9-702: Youth Suicide Prevention Programs Required in Secondary Schools, State Board of Education to Develop Model Programs, Reporting Requirements
Utah State Board of Education School Counseling Programs

Utah State Board of Education Suicide Prevention Media Channel

The Suicide Prevention YouTube Channel provides supplementary recorded webinars, suicide prevention training, and video resources.

Youth Suicide Prevention in Utah Schools

Employee Training

Youth Suicide Prevention Training for Employees

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) is committed to training and education that can help school communities build capacity for effective suicide prevention. 

In accordance with the Utah State Legislature's Administrative Code Title 53G-9-704: Youth Suicide Prevention Training for Employees “A school district or charter school shall require a licensed employee to complete a minimum of two hours of professional development training on youth suicide prevention every three years.”


Successful completion of this course fulfills the two hour professional development on youth suicide training requirement in accordance with:

R277-620: Suicide Prevention Programs
Utah State Board of Education Administrative Rules

Once you have completed the course, please print out a copy of the training completion certificate for your records.

Course Information

This course is comprised of four modules:

  1. Introduction to Suicide in Utah
  2. Background Information on Suicide
  3. Preventing and Responding to Suicide
  4. Postvention as Prevention: How to Respond After a Suicide 

At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the scope of the problem of youth suicide in Utah.
  • Build knowledge, attitudes, and skills to help prevent suicide.
  • Demonstrate an increase in knowledge and skills to recognize suicide warning signs in order to intervene with someone at risk for suicide.
  • Understand the legal and ethical considerations when responding to a suicidal crisis including student privacy laws.
  • Identify resources for referral and support.

For help with USBE Canvas, please e-mail

LEA Training – Suicide Prevention Training Requests

Complete the survey below to request suicide prevention training for LEAs or charters. This training generally takes place in person and must have at least 10 participants. This training does not fulfill the requirement of the Youth Suicide Prevention training for employees, and it is additional to that training. For information about that required training, please see the information listed above under "Youth Suicide Prevention Training for Employees".

Student Services Training Request Portal (TRP)


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
Living Works Education
A two-day workshop that teaches participants to carry out life-saving interventions for people at risk.

L.E.T.S. Stay Safe is Utah’s Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Program
State of Utah Office of the Attorney General
Leave it alone; Educate others; Tell an adult; and Share threats against the school or other students with authorities. Formed in partnership with the Utah State Board of Education and the Utah State Legislature, the Utah Attorney General’s Office developed this program to help teachers and parents teach firearm safety by providing teaching materials and safety guidelines for students and children across the state.

Question. Persuade. Refer. (QPR) Institute
The mission of QPR is to save lives and reduce suicidal behaviors by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training.

Living Works Education
A half-day workshop that prepares participants to identify those with thoughts of suicide and connect them with life-saving first aid resources.

Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid
Designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people.

Media Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)

Logos and Awareness Ribbons

Lifeline Materials
Download logos, order brochures, and find recommendations to help raise awareness online or cover issues of suicide in the news.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Wallet Card

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Wallet Card Spanish

Utah State Board of Education

Never Worry Alone

Never Worry Alone: Preventing and Responding to Youth Suicide (English/Spanish)

Emotional Response Protocol for Elementary and Secondary Grades

Let's Be Brave today for Elementary Grade


Let's Be Brave today for Secondary Grade

Note: Lesson plans are in development.

Suicide Prevention Media Channel

The Suicide Prevention YouTube Channel provides supplementary recorded webinars, suicide prevention training, and video resources.

Youth Suicide Prevention in Utah Schools

Suicide Reporting Recommendations

Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide: Important Points for Covering SuicideRecomendaciones Para Reportar El Suicidio: Puntos Importantes Para Reportar El Suicidio
Reporting on Suicide

Suicide Reporting Recommendations: Media as Partners in Suicide Prevention
American Association of Suicidology (AAS)

Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition

Creating Safety: Preventing Suicides in Utah | Creando Seguridad: Previniendo Suicidio En Utah

Firearm Suicide Prevention

Help is Available 24 Hours a Day 7 Days a Week

If you live in Utah, call the Statewide Crisis Line at 1 (801) 587-3000 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)1 (888) 628-9454 (Spanish) or dial 911. Website: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.


Cathy Davis
Education Specialist
Suicide Prevention and Postvention Support; Programs for Youth Protection/Parent Seminar; Suicide Prevention Training for Educators/re-licensing
Phone: (801) 538-7861 | E-mail