The city of Draper has received a $10,000 grant to provide youth suicide prevention programs to the community.
According to a 2015 survey of Draper students, over nine percent reported they had seriously considered suicide, and one of the top risk factors identified was “depressive symptoms.” Gaile Dupree is the prevention coordinator for the Draper Police Department’s Communities That Care coalition. She says the problem is not unique to the Salt Lake County suburb.
“Utah currently ranks fourth in the nation for suicide deaths for all ages. It was the leading cause of death for ages 10 to 17 in 2014,” Dupree says. “We are doing everything we can at the community level to address that problem.”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah has awarded the Draper coalition $10,000 for their prevention efforts. Draper police say the abuse of prescription drugs appears to be contributing to the risk for suicide. They plan to install a drug disposal container in the police lobby. Schools, faith communities, and health providers are partnering up for pancake breakfasts, information booths, monthly education events, and wellness hikes.
“It’s important for communities to recognize that we can talk about it,” says Kimball Gardner, director of the program that awarded the grant. “By having this kind of really strongly planned event, it’s going to raise that conversation, and help folks recognize that there’s a lot we can do to help people in need.”
The kickoff in Draper is on September 17th.