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Governor: teen suicide a problem

MAGNA Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - The numbers are scary and concerning for Governor Gary Herbert. Teen suicides
MAGNA Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A showing of hands gave the governor a clear message: suicide is part of the student’s vocabulary.

Governor Gary Herbert was at Cypress High School to sign four measures into law that are designed to help students and parents deal with the issue of suicides.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst young adults and teens,” the governor told the students. “Two youths are treated for suicide attempts every day.”

But it didn’t surprise this group of students. Jane Burns spoke openly about her friend who took his live.

“It's like the one most amazing person in the world was gone one day,” says Burns. “He was like the one friend to everyone, the one who helped others with their problems and he's gone.”

When the governor asked how many students knew someone who committed or attempted suicides 95% of the kids attending raised their hand.

“That's an alarming number,” the Governor says.

He signed into law several measures that will help students and parents with the issue of suicide.

But on this day at Cypress High, the governor was looking for answers

darren lewis: “They're afraid to talk about the word suicide,” Darren Lewis with the Fallen Brothers Foundation told the governor. “I think that's one of our biggest problems of being afraid of the word.”

Governor Herbert then asked the students why no one talks about it.

“Some people may think just bringing up the topic may put ideas into people's head to commit suicide,” responded a student named Troy.

In the end, the governor asked students to be inclusive not exclusive to other students.

He issued them a challenge: greet 13 students that they’re not friends with each day.

Beginning Monday, May 20, ABC4 Utah will start a two part series about teen suicides. It starts with the Moab 5 and ends with the progress schools and experts are undertaking.
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