After Hannah Warburton, a 16 year old Weber High student, could not get through to her psychologist she committed suicide in 2014. Utah lawmakers have since then been trying to pass a bill. This bill would keep all suicide crisis lines in Utah open 24/7, 365 days a year. This bill was passed January 26, 2018 and is on its way to the Utah State Senate. This bill will make it possible to decrease the number of suicides throughout all of Utah.
In Utah alone there are 5600 suicide attempts and the average number of people who succeed in the suicide attempt is 577 people. Suicide is the leading cause of deaths for Utahns 10 to 17 years old. In Utah alone, every 16 hours a person dies from suicide. This bill could lower those numbers. This bill would make it so that there is more than one crisis line open 24/7, 365. In fact it would make it so all the crisis lines in Utah are open 24/7. “Can you imagine if you called 911 and received voicemail or a busy signal or a router to a phone tree?” said representative Steve Eliason. Utah desperately needed more than one crisis line available. People were not able to get help because they would get busy lines which only made it worse for them.
Why has this bill not been passed earlier, you may ask yourself. Well, the bill itself is going to take about 2.3 million dollars in ongoing funds. “Eliason said he is “optimistic” that the legislative would allocate the money.” Is it even worth the money, $2.3 million is quite a bit of money to be putting in phone lines. “You can’t put a price on human life,” said junior Elana Lewis. Lewis is completely right in that aspect, you cannot really put a price on a human life. Each human life brings on new opportunities.
The suicide crisis lines in Utah needs to stay on 24/7 because so many people call and the one crisis line in Utah that is available 24/7 gets so many calls a year that some people get busy lines. Those who are not able to get through do not get the help they need. “Crisis lines receive about 10,000 calls a year in the state.” said Dennis Romboy from KSL This is just the state of Utah, and this is a huge number. It does not help that Utah is one of the states with the highest amount of suicides.
In the end, it will be a really great benefit to have this bill. The amount of suicides will drop and kids, teens, and adults will be getting the help they need without running into busy lines, and routing systems to phone trees because there will be more of the crisis lines open 24/7, 365. While it may cost roughly 2.3 million dollars as Lewis said “You can’t put a price on human life.” A human life is worth the money, worth the time, and worth the effort.
If you need help or just need to talk to someone, I highly advise that you call one of these numbers. Your life matters; Don’t give up and keep living. You are worth it!
Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226- 4433
Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373- 7393
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK(8255)
Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1- 866-488-7386
NAMI Utah: nam iut.org
Utah Chapter-American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: afsputah.com
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Find more information on the bill at le.utah.gov
Find more about Hannah and the foundation built after her at livehannahshope.org/