OREM, Utah — One day, a conference with a lifetime of potential opportunities. That’s how the organizers summed up this year’s suicide prevention conference at Utah Valley University.
Retired California Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Briggs was the keynote speaker. He shared his experiences as the so-called “Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge”. During his 23-year career patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge, he met people and encouraged them to choose life as they were about to end it.
Twelve hundred people attended in person or online for the sold-out conference. The numbers have grown since its inception six years ago.
“We want people to walk away with the tools and skills to give hope for the future to show people that there is another way,” said Candida Johnson, head of marketing and communications at Utah Valley University.
This year, organizers focused on getting more organizations to participate so people can find out more about services, as it is often daunting to know who to consult or where to go.
They also honored those lives lost by suicide with a dove release ceremony. Johnson said this framework will hopefully encourage more people to talk about it.
“Help them know that what they are feeling is nothing to be ashamed of and that there is nothing wrong with them,” Johnson added. “We need to break that stigma.”
The conversation will continue on Monday at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute summit at the Snowbird Resort for World Mental Health Day.
Some 200 organizations will participate to work on a common message to help all communities.
Suicide Prevention Resources
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or showing warning signs, call, text or chat with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988, which is answered 24/7/365 by lifeline counselors. Emergency Department of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. All calls to former crisis hotlines, including the former National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255, will also be connected to a crisis care worker. at the Huntsman Institute of Mental Health.
- SafeUT: Parents, students, and educators can connect with a Certified Crisis Counselor via chat by downloading the SafeUT app or by calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-33888)
- SafeUT Frontline: First responders including firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and healthcare professionals can chat with a certified crisis counselor toll-free 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app.
- SafeUTNG: Members of the National Guard can chat with a Certified Crisis Counselor toll-free 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUTNG app.
- Utah Warm Line: For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear while you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a week. year. .
- The Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers a wide variety of programs and services, including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospital treatment, therapy and medication, substance abuse and addiction recovery, children’s programs and adolescent and maternal mental health services, including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
- LiveOnUtah.org is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They offer resources for faith groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, gun suicide prevention, and crisis and treatment options.