National Suicide Prevention Week is September 11-16. The annual event is part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and aims to raise awareness for treatment as well as create healthy conversations about suicide, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.
Utah currently ranks fifth in the nation for most suicide deaths per year, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. However, Utah lawmakers recently enacted legislation designed to combat Utah’s high suicide rate and various services are available for those seeking support throughout the state.
Six BYU students have committed suicide in the last three years, according to Carri Jenkins, assistant to the president for University Communications. However, efforts such as the recent mental health campaign have helped raise awareness to resources for students, as well as address stigmas associated with mental illness.
BYU student Marissa Peterson has anxiety and depression. She said seeking help from her bishop, counselors and husband has helped her on her journey to recovery.
“I just want anyone to know who might be struggling with this that they’re not alone. There is help,” Peterson said. “There is hope for a brighter future and you can be happy.”