January: 'Uptick in calls' to suicide crisis center

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - After a murder-suicide in Magna involving a mother and young daughter, News4Utah is highlighting where you can go for help if you are struggling with thoughts of depression or suicide.

Mental health professionals often find themselves dealing with severe cases this time of year.
    
"In January, we see an uptick in calls -- our volume increases," said Ben Carney, a crisis worker with the University of Utah Health crisis diversion services. 

"It's long nights. It's dark out, a lot. It's pretty cold. Seasonal affective disorder comes into play pretty hard in January. It's the first time things have slowed down since the holidays," added Carney.

There is no easy explanation why a mother would shoot and kill her 9-year-old daughter before turning the gun on herself. The tragedy in Magna does serve as a reminder, though, that people are struggling.

And that help is out there.

"It's one of those griefs that's hard to even fathom," said Kimberly Myers, Utah's suicide prevention coordinator.

"Just because somebody's thinking about suicide, doesn't mean that you have to act on it. Let us help find other solutions to the pain, to the crisis that you're experiencing," said Myers.

Here are some resources: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Or, another free hotline from the University of Utah: (801) 587-3000.

You can also download the "Safe UT" app, where you can text or call a crisis counselor, or send an anonymous tip to help someone.

And, if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please call 855-323-3237.


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