Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) facilitated a discussion Wednesday on suicide prevention between local organizations and community members at the Central Utah Youth Suicide Prevention Congressional Round Table.
Central Utah has seen a spike in recent suicide attempts and deaths. The local community gathered to hear how Congressman Stewart, as well as local organizations, plan to combat the tragic trend of youth suicide and make existing resources more accessible to those in emotional distress.
“Everyone of us has been impacted by suicide in one way or another. This includes our neighbors, co-workers, family members, and friends. We have seen an alarming increase in suicides in our state, particularly among our youth; even as recent as this past weekend. It is our responsibility to reach out to those with mental health issues to intervene and help them realize they are not alone.
Today’s discussion brought me hope. Hope that through kindness and support, we can help more families avoid this tragedy. We must share this hope. Hearing from those brave enough to share their stories, I learned that in addition to existing resources, we ourselves can be a source of strength to those struggling with thoughts of suicide.”- Rep. Chris Stewart
More about Rep. Stewart’s efforts on youth suicide prevention:
Suicide Prevention has been one of Congressman Stewart’s top priorities during his time in Congress.
Last year, Congressman Stewart’s National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act became law. This legislation called for a study to determine the best three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read the full press release here.
The final study is expected to be released next week.
The Congressman also became lead co-sponsor of the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act. This legislation aims to raise college students’ awareness of existing suicide prevention resources. Read the full press release here.
In addition, Rep. Stewart, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, secured an additional $3 million (for a total of $20 million) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read the full press release here.
Organizations in attendance during today’s discussion include: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Utah Shooting Sports Council, Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Safe UT, Utah State Board of Education, Intermountain Medical Center, and local officials.