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Utah Pride Center Opens Support Group for Suicide Survivors

Andrea Smardon

The Utah Pride Center is starting a new support group for survivors of suicide. The mission of the group is to offer LGBT survivors who have attempted suicide a safe, welcoming, and non-judgmental place to talk about their experiences. Coordinator Jillian Hill says she sees a real need for this in Utah.

“One of the biggest reasons that people attempt suicide is that- especially in the LGBT community - there’s no support, which we like to believe is false, but that’s how people feel because some of the cultural messages that we’ve received,” Hill says.

She says the Pride Center was already planning a group like this before leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints announced that same sex marriage is grounds for apostasy, but she says reactions from the LGBT community reinforce why this kind of support is so important.

“Community rejection, family rejection, rejection from faith that’s very important to many people - even people who are LGBT want connection, and they want warmth from their community,” Hill says. “I know a lot of people have come to terms with their identity as a queer person and their identity as a person of faith, and that announcement rocked that foundation and sent some people into crisis.”

The Pride Center is currently recruiting participants for the new support group, which will meet for eight weeks in the summer. The group will cover topics including giving and receiving support, coping with thoughts of suicide, accessing resources, and creating hope.

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