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"Statistics devastatingly show that suicide is the number one cause of death of Utah children ages 10-12. In addition, our schools and communities are facing crisis-level safely concerns," said Attorney General Reyes. "Because of such alarming realities statewide, our office has worked closely in a very bipartisan manner with legislators, agencies, parents, and advocates to find the right solution."
After studying the issue, the Utah Attorney General’s Office and Sen. Daniel Thatcher proposed legislation in 2014 to form a commission to explore solutions. The legislation passed and the commission was led by the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (formerly the University Neuropsychiatric Institute), already renowned for excellence in crisis call support. In 2015, the SchoolSafety and CrisisLine legislation (SB 175), sponsored by Sen. Thatcher and Rep. Steve Eliason, passed the Utah State Legislature, designating HMHI as the crisis provider and an active commission, chaired out of the Attorney General’s Office, for implementation. The SafeUT app began rolling out to Utah junior high, middle, and high schools in early 2016.
The SafeUT program was developed with funding from the Utah State Legislature in collaboration with the Utah Office of the Attorney General, HMHI, the Utah State Office of Education, and the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition.