Making Life Better: Addressing Mental Health Concerns for LGBTQ Youth in Utah
Over the past few years, teen suicide has become a leading cause of underage death in Utah, with a tragic 140% increase between 2011 and 2015.
To help protect these valuable young lives, Governor Herbert has created the Teen Suicide Prevention Task Force. This coalition is composed of Equality Utah, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Lt. Gov. Cox, the LDS church, Utah Department of Health, and other experts. This task force’s purpose is to devise workable solutions to reduce the escalating number of youths attempting suicide in Utah.
Research shows that LGBTQ teens face more difficulties with suicidal ideation than their straight counterparts, and Equality Utah is keen to offer its compassionate expertise in helping those youth find meaning, love, connection, acceptance, and well-being in their own lives.
Equality Utah supports LGBTQ-positive policy and political candidates and amplifies existing resources, which include these local and national organizations for LGBTQ youth and their concerned parents:
- The Center for Disease Control provides a list of practical, actionable advice for parents of LGBTQ/questioning children. It also contains links to additional family and youth resources.
- The Human Rights Campaign is a wonderful LGBTQ advocacy and educational resource.
- The Williams Institute is a branch of the UCLA School of Law, and it focuses on evidence-based reforms and policy implementation.
For youth and adults in need of immediate help, please consider reaching out to the following:
- U of U Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (UNI MCOT) offers “a free, prompt, face-to-face response to any resident of Salt Lake County who is experiencing a behavioral health crisis.”
- Safe Utah is a mobile app that connects people with a crisis counselor via text. Counseling topics include depression, self-harm, bullying, and many other issues.
- The Trevor Project assists LBGTQ teens and young adults ages 13–24 with suicide and crisis intervention on their 24/7 hotline at 1-866-488-7386.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline “provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress” at 1-800-273-8255.
- Crisis Text Line offers support and understanding in a variety of difficult situations. Text 741741 to start a conversation.