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Family Blames Utah’s Healthcare System In Man’s Suicide Attempt

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

OGDEN — The family of a man who burned himself and three officers in a suicide attempt yesterday, said they have been trying for years to get him the help he needs, and have only met push back from hospitals.

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Police say Tyler Ivison, 26, doused himself with gas yesterday at a Kaysville Top Stop, 320 W. 200 North. Several officers tried to stop the man, six were injured including one officer who is expected to spend 10 days in the hospital because of his burns. Doctors have told Ivison’s family he has a good chance of recovering but it could take weeks in the hospital.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Ivison’s sister, Kayla Budge, praised the efforts of first responders who managed to save her brother’s life but said it never should have happened. She said Ivison has been struggling with bipoplar disorder for the last five years. She described his form of the mental illness as cycles of joy-like mania and then severe depression. The cycles have sped up lately, happening monthly in the last year. She said this wasn’t his first suicidal attempt.

“Each time he was given a bottle of pills and brushed away,” Budge said.

Most recently, Budge said her brother was in the hospital in February after a really traumatic attempt. She said when doctors tried to send him home the family argued, begging the hospital to keep Ivison inside and get him some psychiatric help.

“They kept him for four whole days after that, gave him some meds and sent him on his way.” Budge said.

The finally did sign up for a waiting list for psychiatric help during that visit, but Budge said it’s been two months and they are still waiting. Now she’s begging hospitals to close the gap between inpatient and outpatient support.

“I don’t think what happened yesterday would have happened if he had the correct treatment plan and a doctor to talk to,” Budge said.

She said Ivison is an incredible man who is struggling with something beyond his control. Yesterday’s attempt at suicide showed her again the support of his family isn’t enough, Ivison needs a doctor on his side. A doctor who can help him figure out how to battle his mental illness.

“What do you do?” Budge said. “There is only so much you can do without the correct support.”

If you or anyone you know is suffering with thoughts of suicide, please call the 24 hour hotline. 1-800 273-TALK

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