Gov. Cox opens up about past mental heath struggles at press conference

Aug 18, 2022, 4:01 PM | Updated: 4:07 pm

Gov. Cox mental health...

Gov. Spencer Cox and state agencies released the full Utah’s Coordinated Action Plan for Water on Wednesday.

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox began his August press conference on a somber mental health note by announcing that, just yesterday, he lost a dear friend to suicide.

“It’s no secret that Utah has a high suicide rate as compared to the rest of the nation, I think we have the 6th highest rate right now,” he said.

He then admitted that when he was young, he had struggled with suicide ideation (suicidal thoughts, or ideas).

“You are not alone,” he continued, “you are not broken, there is nothing unfixable about you,” he said, to anyone who may be having these thoughts right now.

Gov. Cox urged Utahns who may be struggling with a mental health crisis to reach out and to have a conversation with their loved ones about suicide and mental health. He said that bringing the topic up and getting it off someone’s chest helps immensely.

“We need you and we need you here,” Gov. Cox said. “So please reach out and get help.”

He said that one action, reaching out, can keep people alive. 

Gov. Cox wants mental health resources to be widespread, known by all

One of the resources Gov. Cox wants more Utahns to know about is QPR training, which is a way to talk about suicide prevention.

In the acronym, the letter Q stands for “question.” It’s a way to start the conversation by asking if a person has ever thought about suicide, and if so, how recently.

The letter P stands for “persuade,” or, persuade the person to go get help.

And the letter R stands for “refer,” or, refer the person to a self-help organization, or to professional help or other resources.

The SafeUT App can immediately put a user in contact with a professional at the University of Utah.

Dialing the new suicide hotline, 988, also quickly puts a user in touch with somebody that can help.

Somebody in crisis can also text TALK to 741741, or visit

If you or someone you love is in need of suicide prevention support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit

For support in Utah, call the UNI Crisis Line at 801-587-3000.

Related reading:


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Mental Health


Michelle Lee

How, and why, a hobby can bring joy to your life

If it brings you pleasure, is meaningful, and you can do it regularly, you've got yourself a hobby! Here's why they can benefit us so much.

7 months ago


LEANNE ITALIE AP Entertainment Writer

Mommy blogger Heather Armstrong, known as Dooce to fans, dead at 47

Armstrong had laid bare her struggles as a mother and her battles with depression and alcoholism on her site,, and on social media since 2001.

7 months ago

A giant A and I are pictured -- would an AI chatbot replace human interaction?...

Samantha Herrera

Combatting loneliness with AI? It may be a slippery slope

As AI technology continues getting more and more sophisticated, there's a concern that something like a chatbot could replace real social interaction.

7 months ago

tiktok logo is shown, kids' social media use is under scrutiny from health officials...

Peter Johnston

APA urges adults to limit kids’ social media use

Kids' social media use should not be without guidance and oversight from parents, an advisory from the American Psychological Association said.

7 months ago


Michelle Lee

Managing stress as a new parent

What causes the stress, why mothers tend to worry more than fathers, and how new parents can work together to help manage that stress.

7 months ago

The U.S. Surgeon General announced this week that loneliness is a genuine health risk. shutterstock...

Mark Jones

Experts say loneliness is now a public health epidemic

A professor from BYU joined KSL at Night to explain the findings in a recent report that says loneliness is a public health risk.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Gov. Cox opens up about past mental heath struggles at press conference