Trigger warning: this article mentions suicide. If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Salt Lake City— As part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (September), Live On Utah, a statewide effort to educate and prevent suicide, will launch a first-of-its-kind suicide prevention course taught entirely over social media. Working with mental health experts at both the state and national levels, the 10-lesson course aims to help as many Utahns as possible become suicide prevention ambassadors.
Joe Tuia’ana of Lehi, Utah is the inspiration behind the course, called the Suicide Prevention Playbook. In January 2022, Tuia’ana was on his way to his daughter’s basketball game when he came across a stranger going through a suicide crisis. “Before that experience, I was like most people. I’ve had friends and family affected by suicide, and I thought suicide was an issue that needed to be addressed, but I would just forget about it an hour later and sweep it under the rug.” That moment changed not only Tuia’ana’s life forever but the young man he helped. “I’m proud to have been a part of creating Live On Utah’s suicide prevention playbook. So many people are struggling and they all deserve support and love.”
“Suicide has touched many lives, and often the first thought that comes to mind is ‘What could I have done?,’” said Allison Foust, suicide prevention program administrator at the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. “The suicide prevention playbook will help people learn the warning signs, how to ask someone if they are having thoughts of suicide, share their story safely, and where to find resources and help. It is a tough conversation, but this course will teach you the skills that may help save a life.”
As part of the launch, a wide range of businesses, schools, and organizations in Utah, including Associated Foods, Brigham Young University, Larry H. Miller Company, Silicon Slopes, and the University of Utah will encourage all employees, students, and partners to take the course. The course is free and available at instagram.com/liveonutah/.
“Companies and organizations are looking for ways to provide suicide prevention training and education for their people,” said Foust. “This course is free for anyone and will save lives.”
Live On is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing our culture around suicide and mental health. Together we can get through, reach out, lift up, look ahead, and Live On.
Visit liveonutah.org/playbook for more information.
A copy of the news release in Spanish can be found here.