(KUTV) — Utah's First Lady Abby Cox is joining young students from the Wasatch County School District as they spearhead a discussion on suicide awareness.
Together, they are welcoming and encouraging more efforts in schools to help struggling youth know there is support.
A mental health expert and advocate speaking on the forum shared that suicide continues to be a leading cause of preventable deaths among Utahns. The First Lady says the state's “Live On” campaign is working to educate everyone about where to find help and how to help.
Cox recalls her own husband sharing his struggle with suicidal thoughts as a youth.
She says while these types of discussions may have been discouraged in the past out of fear it would give someone the wrong idea, research now says otherwise. Cox said:
When we talk about it, when we share, when we ask someone how they are feeling and if they need help, and if they are contemplating suicide, that does the opposite. It helps people, it helps people to Live On.
She’s now personally inviting and challenging everyone within the education community to help shift social norms related to mental health and suicide.
Creative messaging and posters are going up in schools throughout the Wasatch County School District to inspire these conversations. It's in culmination with the state's Live On campaign. School officials urge students who are struggling right now to talk to someone.
They say the school system is their first line of support, with trained professionals like counselors and resource officers available to help.
For additional information on suicide prevention and resources, visit liveonutah.org.