Suicide affects every family and every community. And the problem continues to escalate. For example, Utah saw a 141 percent increase in youth suicide from 2011-2015. But thanks to a smartphone app, help is available 24/7 for young people and others who experience depression, anxiety, loss, grief, bullying/cyberbullying, self-harming behaviors, suicidal thoughts, or drug or alcohol problems.
SafeUT answers crisis calls, texts, and chats—from the young person reaching out or from others. It provides free real-time crisis intervention for people in need. The app was developed at the University of Utah Neurosciences Institute.
Intermountain is committed to helping prevent suicide, and the app is one tool we have to do so. We encourage parents to help their youth download the SafeUT app and talk to them about the importance of reaching out if they’re worried about someone they know. It’s also important to talk to your child’s school to make sure they are working with the SafeUT app. A media campaign using television ads, radio spots, podcasts, and other channels is currently promoting the SafeUT app. Intermountain and SelectHealth also help promote the app, whose key features include:
- Real-time, two-way communication with SafeUT crisis counselors available 24/7
- Confidential and password protected services
- Tips can be submitted with picture and/or video
- Mobile app works with Apple & Android devices
The warning signs for someone dealing with suicidal thoughts include:
- Hopeless/helpless thoughts
- Social isolation
- Talk of being a burden on others—how others would be better off without them
- Giving away prized possessions
“Today’s world is very different from the world many of us grew up in,” said Jessica Strong, Community Health and Outreach Manager for Intermountain’s Primary Children’s Hospital, in an interview on KSL’s Studio 5. “Young people are at greater risk in many ways. If we see warning signs of suicidal thoughts, we need to take them seriously.”
Intermountain, SelectHealth, and Primary Children’s sponsor a media partnership with KSL called Healthy Mind Matters, which features segments on suicide prevention, including:
- Tips for Talking About Depression and Suicidal Thought with Adults, Teens, and Children – Podcast
- Youth Suicide: New Data Provides Insight – Podcast
- Youth Suicide Stats & Social Media – Podcast
- Spot the Risk Factors of Suicide – Studio 5
“SafeUT Smartphone App Provides Vital Mental Health Help for Youth | About Us | Intermountain Healthcare.” Intermountainhealthcare.org, Jan. 2018, intermountainhealthcare.org/about/who-we-are/trustee-resource-center/newsletter/newsletter-archive/safeut-smartphone-app-provides-vital-mental-health-help-for-youth/.