Cache County suicide rate has grown the last decade


Cache County suicide rates aren’t as high as national or state averages but at 16.5 suicide deaths per 100,000 in the county it is still a significant jump over the last decade.

“There are so many factors involved in suicide and mental health, it is really difficult to break it down,” said Emily Pugsley, a health educator at Bear River Health. “There are a lot of hypotheses out there. One is that people aren’t as connected as they used to be; social connectedness is one of the biggest protective factors.

“When people start to distance themselves, that leads to isolation which is a problem.”

Pugsley said Utah ranks number one in the nation in suicide ideation which is when people have thoughts about suicide.

“Every suicide is a little different but we do know that 80-90 percent of them are associated with a mental illness.”

Pugsley is a member of the Cache County Suicide Prevention Coalition which meets monthly to help educate people. The coalition promotes what is called QPR.

“It is a one-hour training that we provide to people to help them recognize warning signs of suicide and also help them feel more comfortable with a difficult subject.”

Also, a suicide prevention hotline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). In addition there is a comprehensive mental health resource directory at the health department website, BRHD.ORG.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend a QPR training Thursday, May 26. Another event in May is a training session at USU Friday, May 20.

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