calendarMurray City School District recognizes that suicide is a serious public health issue impacting individuals, families, and communities – including ours. And with September being Suicide Awareness month, it’s an excellent time to refresh on the impact and signs.

According to 2021 United Health Foundation data, Utah is ranked sixth in the nation regarding teen suicide. Utah’s suicide rate is 26.4 per 100,000, almost double the national average of 13.9. According to the World Health Organization, about 800,000 people die by suicide yearly, making it the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 worldwide.

We believe suicide prevention and awareness are key to addressing this epidemic among our young people, thus alleviating the emotional pain and suffering of those affected. Knowing the warning signs and risk factors is important. 

To that end, here are 10 warning signs that may indicate a youth is at risk for suicide:

  1. Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves.
  2. Making statements about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  3. Exhibiting extreme mood swings, including sudden calmness after depression or agitation.
  4. Expressing feelings of being trapped or feeling like there is no way out of a situation.
  5. Giving away prized possessions or making arrangements for the future.
  6. Increased use of drugs or alcohol.
  7. Withdrawal from family and friends and social activities.
  8. Reckless behavior or risky activities without thinking about the consequences.
  9. Expressing feelings of being a burden to others or feeling like they are a problem for others.
  10. The sudden improvement in mood after a period of depression which may be a sign that they have decided to attempt suicide.

Please take any of these warning signs seriously and seek professional help immediately.

If you or someone you know is experiencing harmful thoughts, please seek help. School social workers and psychologists can help. But Utah’s SafeUT app hotline at 833–372-3388, the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline at (800) 273-8255 (or dialing 988) are ready to help.