Suicide prevention group treks across Tooele County

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 Utah)-A local suicide prevention group is walking 100 miles across Tooele County to raise awareness about Utah's alarmingly high suicide numbers. 

Statistics show Utah has the 7th highest suicide rate in the nation, with the trend especially high among young people ages 10-24. 

The group "Life's Worth Living," based out of Tooele County, is marching to Wendover, donning shirts which bear the names or pictures of loved ones lost to suicide. They hope to show people considering suicide to know there is hope. 

The group will take two days and will complete their journey at Wendover Airfield Saturday evening. 

The Life's Worth Living Foundation was founded in 2014 by Jon Gossett after three young men committed suicide in Tooele County.  One of those young men was Jedediah Hansen, son of Barbara Hansen, now one of Life's Worth Living Foundation's board members. 


"He's my boy,"  said Hansen, her voice choking. "It's been pretty tough, but I know that [Jed] would be happy for us to be here, telling people to not make that same mistake."

She said she believes in her heart her son regrets his choice to take his own life. 

"In the last three weeks we have lost five people to suicide in Tooele County," said Jon Gossett, the group's founder. 

In the state, more than 600 people took their own lives in 2016.


The group is encouraging people considering suicide to get help and to use the SafeUT app when in crisis. The app allows them to connect with a suicide prevention professional within minutes. 


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