Especially For Athletes works to reduce youth suicides in Utah

Youth suicide rates in Utah are increasing – that’s according to an investigation conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Utah Department of Health.

The report states 150 Utah youth died by suicide from 2011-2015. That’s a 141% increase in suicide rate among 10-17 year olds compared to the national rate of 23.5%.

One youth organization is trying to change that.

Good Day Utah Weekend Edition interviewed two representatives from Especially For Athletes, an organization training youth athletes to be more involved in their schools as a positive influence to other kids.

"Athletes are a tremendous influence for good or for bad at most schools," said Kristen Larsen, a supervisor for Especially For Athletes.

Especially For Athletes provides training at each school for the athletes and encourages them to commit to being more aware of those around them and to reach out to those who are struggling.