App saves lives.

Author:Hanson, Karmen
Position:TRENDS - Brief article
 
FREE EXCERPT

For those in crisis, help can be just a text or phone call away.

Utah's SafeUT Crisis Text and Tip Line is a smartphone app showing early success. After two years, the state's child suicide rate has dropped 24 percent. The free app, which resulted from legislation sponsored by Senator Daniel Thatcher (R) and Representative Steve Eliason (R), connects students in crisis anonymously to a licensed clinical social worker who can coordinate an in-person evaluation or additional emergency services.

The app is currently being promoted in every Utah school district, at a cost of between 65 cents and $1 per student. "We have found that most teens who consider suicide do so in reaction to a short-term problem," Thatcher says. "The faster we can connect someone to a help line, the less likely they are to attempt suicide." He urges others to learn from Utah's experience with the...

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