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‘Zero Suicide’ Initiative Aims To Identify Mental Health Issues Before Crisis

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The pandemic has been especially challenging for children and their mental health. KSL is focusing on Kids in Crisis all day today, to arm parents with knowledge & resources. One of those resources is called Zero Suicide – a Utah initiative to identify those who are struggling with their mental health before they reach a crisis.

Representative Steve Eliason said nationally, almost 50 percent of people who die by suicide saw a health care provider in the month or two prior to their death. He believes suicide is preventable with the right care.

“It’s where we treat mental health issues, just like any other health issue, just like we check vital signs, you know, temperature, blood pressure… we’ll just check to see how people are feeling,” Eliason said.

That’s why the program helps health care providers administer a nine question, patient health questionnaire to asses someone’s mental health well being.

Eliason’s House Bill 336 passed – putting $350,000 of ongoing funding towards health care providers, including smaller clinics.

“One of the goals behind Zero Suicide is if a parent indicates they’re having some of those thoughts, it helps them outline a system of care in terms of what they do next, to help that patient address those thoughts and try to get them into a better place from a mental health perspective,” he said.

Eliason said at any given time, about one in five Americans is estimated to be struggling with a mental health issue – equating to tens of millions of people who are struggling. Twenty percent of people may be looking for help.

“And we know that when those are identified, that as long as the patient’s willing, we can address those concerns and get them help,” Eliason said.

If you or someone you love is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Hotline number for help at 800-273-8255.

SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES 

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the Utah State Crisis Line1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Additional Crisis Hotlines 

  • National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741 
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386 

Online resources 

In an emergency 

  • Call 911 
  • Go to the emergency room 
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