Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:17 pm

[REGIONAL NEWS] Utah’s suicide rate has shot up 46.5% since 1999 — making it the fifth-highest in the nation

Shari Elliott holds a photo of herself with her son, Avery Kertamus, in her office in South Jordan. The 15-year-old died by suicide in 2013
./Steve Griffin /The Salt Lake Tribune

By Amy Ellis Nutt | The Washington Post

Suicide rates rose in Utah and every other state but Nevada between 1999 and 2016, with big increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In North Dakota, the rate jumped more than 57 percent. In the most recent period studied (2014-2016), the rate was highest in Montana at 29.2 per 100,000 residents, compared with the national average of 13.4 per 100,000.

Utah had the fifth-highest overall suicide rate at 25.2 per 100,000, and since 1999, the state saw a 46.5 percent increase in residents taking their own lives. It is a crisis that has led Gov. Gary Herbert to create a youth suicide task force and state lawmakers to fund a new staffer to study why Utahns have died by suicide.

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