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Health Indicator Report of Suicide

From 2017 to 2019, the age-adjusted suicide rate in Utah was 22.0 per 100,000 persons, with an average of 660 suicides per year. Utah had the fifth-highest age-adjusted suicide rate in the U.S. during this time period. In 2019, suicide was the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 17 and 18-24. It is the second leading cause of death for ages 25 to 44 and the fifth leading cause of death for ages 45-64. Overall, suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for Utahns (age-adjusted rate). Suicide deaths are only part of the problem. More people are hospitalized or treated in emergency rooms for suicide attempts than are fatally injured. In 2019, 70 Utahns were treated for self-inflicted injuries every day (15,875 treat-and-release emergency department visits plus 9,546 total hospitalizations). According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, in the 12 months preceding the survey, Utah high school students reported the following: 36.7% felt sad or hopeless, 22.3% seriously considered attempting suicide, 18.7% made a suicide plan, 9.3% attempted suicide one or more times, and 2.1% had a suicide attempt that required medical attention. The 2019 Prevention Needs Assessment data indicate that overall, 62.2% of Utah students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 reported experiencing moderate depressive symptoms. Students were also asked social isolation questions and reported the following: 16.4% felt left out, 15.3% felt that people barely know me, 15.3% felt isolated from others and 19.4% felt that people are around me but not with me. All suicide attempts should be taken seriously. Suicide attempt survivors are often seriously injured, are likely to have depression and/or another mental health disorder, and are at an increased risk for suicide. Suicidal behavior is a serious and complex public health issue that takes an enormous toll on communities in both economical and human costs.

Suicide by Utah Small Area, 2017-2019


*Use caution in interpreting, the estimate has a relative standard error greater than 30% and does not meet UDOH standards for reliability. **The estimate has been suppressed because 1) the relative standard error is greater than 50% or 2) the observed number of events is very small and not appropriate for publication. For more information, please go to []. A description of the Utah Small Areas may be found on IBIS at the following URL: []. Suicides are determined using ICD-10 codes X60-X84, Y87.0, *U03.

Data Sources

  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population estimates produced by the UDOH Center for Health Data and Informatics. Linear interpolation of U.S. Census Bureau and ESRI ZIP Code data provided annual population estimates for ZIP Code areas by sex and age groups, IBIS Version 2018
  • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)

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. Participation in the 2015 was too low to meet the reporting threshold as defined by CDC, so results for that year are not available.


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 population
State Target: 13.3 suicides per 100,000 population

Other Objectives

{{style color:#003366 Healthy People 2020 Objective IVP-41:}}[[br]] Reduce nonfatal intentional self-harm injuries[[br]] '''U.S. Target:''' 112.4 emergency department visits per 100,000 population[[br]] '''State Target:''' 91.7 emergency department visits per 100,000 population[[br]] [[br]] {{style color:#003366 Healthy People 2020 Objective MHMD-2:}}[[br]] Reduce suicide attempts by adolescents[[br]] '''U.S. Target:''' 1.7 suicide attempts per 100 population[[br]] '''State Target:''' 1.9 suicide attempts per 100 population

How Are We Doing?

The 2019 Utah age-adjusted suicide rate was 21.2 per 100,000 population. Males (33.1 per 100,000 population) had a significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rate compared to females (9.3 per 100,000 population). In Utah from 2017 to 2019, males had significantly higher suicide rates than females in every age group. Males aged 35-44 had the highest suicide rates among males (48.9 per 100,000 population). Females aged 35-44 had the highest suicide rates among female age groups (17.5 per 100,000 population). From 2017 to 2019, TriCounty, Central Utah, San Juan, and Weber-Morgan local health districts had significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rates compared to the state rate. Among Utah Small Areas, Duchesne County, Ivins/Santa Clara, SLC (Downtown), Central Utah Health Department (Other), Southwest LHD (Other), and Ben Lomond had significantly higher age-adjusted suicide rates compared to the state rate during 2017-2019.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The Utah suicide rate has been consistently higher than the national rate. In 2018 (the most recent national-level data year available, data from the National Center for Health Statistics), the age-adjusted suicide rate for the U.S. was 14.78 per 100,000 population, while the Utah suicide rate was 22.13 per 100,000 population during the same year. Utah had the 6th-highest age-adjusted suicide rate in the U.S. during 2018.

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. The VIPP is also funded by the CDC to improve the timeliness of syndromic surveillance data of nonfatal suicide-related outcomes, including nonfatal self-directed violence and suicidal ideation. The VIPP partners with multiple state and local agencies including the Division of Substance and Mental Health (DSAMH), the Utah State Board of Education, the Office of the Medical Examiner, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah, local health departments and many others to facilitate and build capacity for suicide prevention efforts across the state. VIPP also participates in the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition, a state level multi-sectoral group, and its seven workgroups that focus on specific populations and topic areas.

Available Services

All Counties, 24 Hours: [[br]] National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-TALK (8255) Mobile Crisis Outreach Team - for both Salt Lake County and statewide[[br]] 801-587-3000 Man Therapy: [] Suicide Prevention Courses: [] National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Utah[[br]] [][[br]] 801-323-9900, Toll Free 877-230-6264 Permission to Grieve: For Survivors of a Loved One's Suicide[[br]] []

Health Program Information

The mission of the Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is to be a trusted and comprehensive resource for data and technical assistance related to violence and injury. Through education, this information helps promote partnerships and programs to prevent injuries and improve public health. The VIPP envisions a Utah where communities thrive and Utahns feel connected, safe, and supported. To realize this vision and mission, VIPP's strategic plan utilizes a Shared Risk and Protective Factor framework that includes interventions across the Social Ecological Model including primary, secondary and tertiary prevention strategies. As such, VIPP has identified these super factors that will guide their work over the next five plus years; o Healthcare Access: Improve access and utilization to physical and behavioral healthcare. o Economic Stability: Improve socioeconomic condition for Utahns. o Social Norms: Encourage social norms that promote safety and health. o Built Environment: Enhance the physical environment to improve safe and healthy living. o Connectedness: Promote individual, family and community connectedness.
Page Content Updated On 10/21/2020, Published on 01/05/2021
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 Tue, 28 September 2021 9:56:57 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 5 Jan 2021 16:47:05 MST