Utahns walk 100 miles for suicide awareness and prevention
TOOELE, Utah — For the fifth year in a row, a group of Utahns, seeking to raise suicide awareness and suicide prevention walked from Tooele to Wendover. They left Friday afternoon and arrived on Saturday.
The group of 125 Utahns walked the 100 miles in association with the Life’s Worth Living Foundation. The non-profit is based in Tooele and was born in that town after three local families lost loved ones to suicide in February 2014.
One of the guest speakers this year was Bill Schuffenhauer. The three-time Olympian and Silver medalist told KSL TV that he attempted suicide in 2016, and felt that, because of his being an Olympian as well as a survivor of suicide, that his story would have a big impact.
“A big six-foot, 265-pound man, we don’t typically talk about these situations or reach out for help,” Schuffenhauer said. “We’re not really taught, growing up, to be vulnerable.
“I have a great story … going from the streets to the Olympics. I’ve been able to share that story with millions of people.”
But he said telling his story of attempted suicide could help even more people by adding to suicide awareness.
Utah suicide statistics and ways to get help
The Utah Department of Health reports that the suicide rate in Utah is consistently higher than the national rate. In 2018, the most recent national-level data year available from the National Center Health Statistics,) Utah’s suicide rate was 22.13 per 100,000 people in the population. Nationally, the rate was 14.78 per 100,000 population.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Or call the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team, at 1-801-587-3000.
Or call the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Utah, at 1-801-323-9900, or toll-free at 1-877-230-6264.