May is Mental HealthAwareness Month
The messages in this toolkit are geared toward awareness, supports for families, resources and prevention methods. We are promoting this strategy for everyone to learn how to play a role in awareness and prevention of mental health in their communities.
We encourage you to use this toolkit during May to help bring hope to your community and shine a light on prevention, identification, and treatment of mental health conditions.
The social media posts can be downloaded here.
Did you know men have feelings too? We've teamed up with the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition to bring Dr. Rich Mahogany and the Man Therapy campaign to Utah. Take the 18-point Head Inspection to see how well, or not so well, you're doing with stress, depression, anger, and anxiety. Or visit mantherapy.com for "manly" lifestyle and behavioral suggestions, statisics on men's mental health, and links to resources near you.
Suicide is a major public health problem in Utah. A total of 557 Utahns die from suicide and 4,543 attempt suicide each year. Two Utahns die as a result of suicide every day and 12 Utahns are treated for suicide attempts every day. More Utahns are treated in an emergency department or hospitalized due to suicide attempts than are fatally injured. Suicide is also the 8th leading cause of death for Utahns aged 10 years and older (1).
While males had higher rates of suicide death than females, more females attempt suicide (resulting in hospitalization or visit to an emergency department) than males. Nationally, suicide rates among adults ages 35-64 has increased significantly by 28% (2).
There are age-specific circumstances and stressors surrounding risk for suicide deaths in Utah. Among adults, the data show many suffered from a diagnosed mental illness. Adult men in particular face a myriad of other risk factors, including alcohol and substance abuse and job or financial problems.
“I am a mother of four children. I have an amazing husband. I love life, have wonderful friends, and serve in my church. After years of struggling, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There have been times I’ve wondered how I would get through it. For anyone struggling with a mental illness, know there is hope and you are not alone. Even on the darkest of days, life is worth living and you have people in your life who love you.”
Utah’s Suicide Rates
Utah's suicide rate has been consistently higher than the U.S. rate for the last decade.
Utah had the 7th highest suicide rate in the U.S. in 2014 for persons aged 10
years and older (4). A CDC study found that Utah had the highest prevalence of suicidal thoughts among adults in the U.S.
Media Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide
The media plays an important role in preventing youth suicides. However, without careful reporting, media agencies can inadvertently influence individuals at risk of suicide to take their own lives, a phenomenon called suicide contagion. Several guidelines have been developed for use by media agencies, writers, producers, bloggers, editors, and publishers to help safely cover this topic.
- Recommendations for Reporting on Suicides
- www.reportingonsuicide.org - find appropriate examples of news stories, online media, expert contacts, etc.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Guidelines for Reporting on Suicide
- Utah’s Indicator Based Information System for Public Health (IBIS-PH)
- CDC. MMWR. Suicide Among Adults Ages 35-64 Years — United States, 1999–2010
- CDC. MMWR. Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years --- United States, 2008-2009.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), 1999-2014 data [cited 2016 July].