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Health Indicator Report of Suicide

From 2011 to 2013, Utah's age-adjusted suicide rate was 20.4 per 100,000 persons. This is an average of 535 suicides per year. Utah has one of the highest age-adjusted suicide rates in the U.S. In 2013, it is the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 17 years old, the second-leading cause of death for ages 18-24 and 25-44, and the fourth-leading cause of death for ages 45-64. Overall, suicide is the seventh-leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10+. Completed suicides are only part of the problem. More people are hospitalized or treated in an emergency room for suicide attempts than are fatally injured. In 2012, 13 Utahns were treated for self-inflicted injuries every day (2,743 emergency department visits and 1,605 hospitalizations). According to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, during the past 12 months before the survey Utah high school students reported the following: 25.7% felt sad or hopeless, 15.5% seriously considered attempting suicide, 12.8% made a suicide plan, 7.3% attempted suicide one or more times and 2.1% of these students suffered an injury, poisoning, or an overdose that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse. 2013 Prevention Needs Assessment data indicate that Salt Lake County and Tooele County Health District students had significantly higher rates of psychological distress, making a suicide plan, and attempting suicide compared to the state. All suicide attempts should be taken seriously. Those who survive suicide attempts are often seriously injured and many have depression and other mental health problems. Suicide is a complex public health issue where victims may be blamed and family members stigmatized. Consequently, suicide is not openly discussed making it difficult to collect meaningful data that is vital to suicide prevention efforts.

Suicide by Ethnicity, Utah 2005-2009


Data is from the 2005-2009 Utah National Violent Death Reporting System using the manner of death of suicide. Data are age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population.

Data Sources

  • Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Health Promotion, Violence and Injury Prevention Program
  • Population Estimates: Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget
  • Utah National Violent Death Reporting System

Data Interpretation Issues

ICD stands for the International Classification of Diseases. It is a coding system maintained by the World Health Organization and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics used to classify causes of death, such as suicide, on death certificates. These codes are updated every decade or so to account for advances in medical technology. The U.S. is currently using the 10th revision (ICD-10) to code causes of death. The 9th revision (ICD-9) is still used for hospital and emergency department visits. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey includes surveys of representative samples of 9th through 12th grade students in public schools. The survey is conducted in odd years. Data are self-reported and subject to recall bias. Data are from a sample survey and subject to selection bias. Comparisons of annual rates must be interpreted cautiously as methods used to collect data my vary from year to year. With the introductions of active parental consent for Utah school surveys between 1997 and 1999, the student response rate for the survey decreased significantly.


Suicide Death Rate: Number of resident deaths resulting from the intentional use of force against oneself per 100,000 population (ICD-10 codes X60-X84, Y87.0, *U03). Suicide Risk Among Students: Percentage of students who reported a suicide risk factor (felt sad or hopeless, seriously considered attempting suicide, made a suicide plan, or attempted suicide) during the past 12 months.


Suicide Death Rate: Number of deaths resulting from the intentional use of force against oneself. Suicide Risk Among Students: Number of students who reported a suicide risk factor (felt sad or hopeless, seriously considered attempting suicide, made a suicide plan, or attempted suicide) during the past 12 months.


Suicide Death Rate: Total number of persons in the population of Utah. Suicide Risk Among Students: Number of surveyed Utah high school students.

Healthy People Objective MHMD-1:

Reduce the suicide rate
U.S. Target: 10.2 suicides per 100,000
State Target: 13.3 suicides per 100,000 population

Other Objectives

Healthy People 2020 Objective IVP-41 Reduce nonfatal intentional self-harm injuries -U.S. Target: 112.8 emergency department visits per 100,000 population -State Target: 91.7 emergency department visits per 100,000 population Healthy People 2020 Objective MHMD-2 Reduce suicide attempts by adolescents -U.S. Target: 1.7% -State Target: 6.5%

How Are We Doing?

The 2013, the Utah age-adjusted suicide rate was 21.1 per 100,000 population. In the last three years, males (32.0 per 100,000 population) had a significantly higher suicide rate than females (9.0 per 100,000 population). In Utah from 2011 to 2013, males had higher suicide rates than females in every age group. Males and females 45-54 years of age had the highest suicide rates among other age groups (51.8 and 19.6 per 100,000 population). From 2011 to 2013, Southeastern Utah LHD, Central Utah LHD, and Southwest Utah LHD had significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rates compared to the state rate. Among Utah Small Areas, Southwest LHD (Other), Carbon/Emery Counties, South Salt Lake, Murray, Grand/San Juan Counties, Ogden (Downtown), Juab/Millard/Sanpete Counties, and TriCounty LHD had significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rate than the state rate.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Utah's suicide rate has been consistently higher than the national rate. In 2012, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, the age-adjusted suicide rate for the U.S. was 12.9 per 100,000 population while Utah's age-adjusted suicide rate was 19.3 per 100,000 population during the same time period.

What Is Being Done?

The UDOH Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement the Utah Violent Death Reporting System (UTVDRS). UTVDRS is a data collection and monitoring system that will help Utahns better understand the public health problem of violence by informing decision makers about the magnitude, trends, and characteristics of violent deaths such as suicide, and to evaluate and continue to improve state-based violence prevention policies and programs. Data are collected from the Office of the Medical Examiner, Vital Records, and law enforcement agencies and are linked together to help identify risk factors, understand circumstances, and better characterize perpetrators of violent deaths. UTVDRS is currently in its tenth year of data collection. The Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) has partnered with the Division of Substance and Mental Health (DSAMH) to facilitate the Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Available Services

All Counties, 24 Hours: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-TALK (8255) Mobile Crisis Outreach Team - Salt Lake County 801-587-3000 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Utah 801-323-9900 Toll Free 877-230-6264 Utah Suicide & Crisis Hotline Ogden Weber Mental Health Serving Davis, Morgan, & Weber Counties Crisis/Suicide Prevention Hotline 801-625-3700 Orem Crisis Line of Utah County 801-226-4433 Provo Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line 801-373-7393 Salt Lake City Valley Mental Health Serving Salt Lake, Summit & Tooele Counties 801-261-1442 Permission to Grieve: For Survivors of a Loved One's Suicide

Health Program Information

The Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is a trusted and comprehensive resource for data related to violence and injury. Through education, this information helps promote partnerships and programs to prevent injuries and improve public health. VIPP goals are to a) focus prevention efforts on reducing intentional and unintentional injury, b) conduct education aimed at increasing awareness and changing behaviors that contribute to the occurrence of injury, c) strengthen local health department capacity to conduct local injury prevention programs, d) promote legislation, policy changes, and enforcement that will reduce injury hazards and increase safe behaviors, e) collaborate with private and public partners, and f) improve the Utah Department of Health capacity to collect mortality and morbidity data from multiple sources and conduct injury epidemiology for use in prevention planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Page Content Updated On 01/05/2015, Published on 07/21/2015
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 30 November 2015 0:54:56 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Fri, 6 Feb 2015 11:52:47 MST