Zero Suicide

Suicide is a uniquely serious problem for Utah. Why?

  • Every day, 2 people in Utah (on average) die by suicide while another 13 people ages 10 and older are treated for suicide attempts.1
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people ages 10–17.2
  • In Utah, access to lethal means is common. Of gun deaths, 85% are suicides, and about 50% of Utah households have a firearm.3

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  1. Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health, 2015-2017 data queried via Utah's Indicator Based Information System for Public Health (IBIS-PH) [cited 2019 January]. IBIS Version 2017.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Ten Leading Causes of Death by Age Group, United States, 2017. Available at: Accessed August 14, 2019.
  3. Barber C, Azrael D, Berrigan J, Miller M, Sobelson M, Hemenway D. Suicide and Firearm Injury in Utah: Linking Data to Save Lives. Boston, MA: Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. October 2018.

How Can We Make a Difference?

  • Healthcare providers play an important role by talking to their patients about suicide prevention.
  • The average rate of contact with primary care providers in the year prior to suicide is 80%.1
  • Although suicide has no single cause or event, we know what factors either put someone more at risk for or help protect them from self-harm.
  • Screening tools, such as the Columbia Rating Scale (see resources), can help guide a meaningful conversation with patients.


  1. Stene-Larsen K, Reneflot R. Contact with primary and mental health care prior to suicide: A systematic review of the literature from 2000 to 2017. Scand J Public Health. 2019;47(1):9-17.

What are key suicide prevention strategies?

Key prevention strategies include:*

  • Identify – Identify and assess suicide risk among those receiving care.
  • Engage – Have a suicide care management plan that includes collaborative safety planning and steps to restrict access to lethal means.
  • Treat – Rely on evidence-based treatments developed to directly target suicidal thinking.
  • Transition – Promote consistent follow-up contact and support after hospitalization or ED visits.

For each of these, Select Health provides guidance for inpatient or outpatient care settings in the Zero Suicide Key Strategies: Quick Reference Guide.

* Adapted from

Important Links and Tools