Suicide in Utah 2012

26 January

The ABC’s of Utah Vital Stats 2012

Utah

9,780

That’s how many people in Utah have committed suicide since 1980. In those 32 years the size of a small town took their own lives. It’s sobering news when thought upon in that light and even more sobering when you realize that today someone in Utah will take their own life again.

Every 131 minutes someone in  Utah will attempt suicide.

The potential these people had to make us a better society or to contribute their time and talents is gone – forever.

While compiling the stats this time around I didn’t see any significant changes in the way Utah does life, except for the continuous rise of suicides. As I mentioned in the status of Utah schools I carry a hope inside me things will change, and for some people that’s true. Fortunately God can and will intervene when we open  our hearts.  While I understand and know that as the world keeps drawing further away from the Lord things will continue to worsen, there’s an eternal optimist living in me that doesn’t think it needs to be so.

God is Louder

This past week my family and I enjoyed a few days together over on the coast.  I fell in love with oceans as a young child while visiting an uncle who lived in Jersey and from that time on I’ve been in awe.

While visiting Pacific Beach, WA this past week I stood out on the back porch of the house we rented and just listened to the waves rolling in. One after another they came as I made a mental note of their consistency and how their strong rumbling noise kept going even with other noises around me.

Their sound reminds me that God is always present, always on time and always bigger and louder than man-made noises.

When we allow God into our lives His comfort is greater than our most self-degrading thoughts and His Holy Spirit stronger than any self mustered willpower we’ll ever know.

Those truths are what I pray every Mormon comes to realize even while the world is in a hurry to collapse upon itself.  The busyness Mormons imprison themselves with in trying to become perfect will never be good enough and it all leads back to just one person; Joseph Smith.

While you read the following stats pray for those who are caught in each category. It may seem this is just a list of numbers, but reality isn’t a statistic. These are real people with real problems and as much as they’re wrong in their theology, God loves them anyway because He’s louder than their problems.

If you’re in trouble, don’t entertain the idea death stops the pain. This isn’t true. The pain continues for those left behind.

There are people who can and will help. When you push through until tomorrow things look and feel different.  I know this because I too attempted suicide as a teen in Utah.  Those dark days of Utah Mormonism are long gone now, Praise the Lord, so I’m living proof there’s a way out of Utah and the darkness!

Tell someone about your pain – I promise they’ll want to know and they do care.  I compile these stats biannually to open the eyes of those who can move into action and do something.  I know without a doubt the Lord uses it to His glory as people see the problem and are moved by His Holy Spirit to take part in the solution to this problem.

Churches can walk the streets and look for people in trouble. Church members can volunteer at teen crisis centers or battered women’s shelters. My church here in the Seattle area collect men’s clothing and distributes them along with warm meals every week under the freeway overpasses.

You can do something which in turn will prompt others around you to do the same.

1. Abortions

Utah’s abortions rate is one vital stat Utah doesn’t have to hang its head in shame over.  Traditionally they tend to have lower rates than the nation and by lower I mean dramatically so. Check out the Census Bureau CDC’s comparison here:

U.S.

Utah

Utah

Abortions

1980

29.28

11.1

4,086

1990

27.4

10.5

4,796

2000

21.3

6.7

3,509

2010

15.1*

5.7

3,446

2011

NA

NA

3,081**

2012

NA

NA

NA

*2009 is latest data year available

**Utah’s abortion rate per 1,000 females not available, but rate per 1,000 live births was 60.2%

NA = Not available

2. Births

One of the things Utah does well is having kids – and lots of them. (The LDS teaching of spirit babies waiting on people to produce a tabernacle is taken seriously in Mormonism and is the determining factor of what drives their high birth rate.

U.S. Utah
1980 15.9 28.3
1990 16.7 21.0
2000 14.4 21.1
2010 12.7 18.8
2011 12.7 18.2
2012 NA 18.5

NA = Not Available

Birth Rate is births per 1,000 of all female population. Fertility rate is births per 1,000 female population between the ages of 15-44. For this article we’ve used birth rate, not fertility rate.

2010 – 52,164 babies born in Utah

2011 – 51,144 babies born in Utah

3. Child Abuse

2011 – Utah Child Population 880, 309

All percentages are per 1,000 children

2011- Utah ranked higher than the national average overall in child maltreatment 14.8 to US 9.2. They ranked higher than the nation in 3 specific areas which were sexual abuse 15.9 to 9.3; psychological maltreatment 51.5 to 7.5; and “other/unknown” types of abuse 23.7 to 10.5.

2011 – “364 [child abuse/maltreatment] cases were reported to the CJC”

2011 – 42% of victims are 5 years old or younger

2011 – Every 38 minutes a child is abused or neglected in Utah

2012 –January through March of this year, 128 sexual or physical child abuse cases have been opened at the CJC

“Utah has the highest rate of paid online pornography subscriptions in the country, Burton said, who suspects that ranking stems from the high number of Utah homes having computers because of the state’s culture and level of education.” – Susan Burton, Child Justice Center

“The reported abuse cases are even more concerning based on the number of state offenders already serving prison sentences for child abuse.” – Susan Burton, CJC

Of all Utah child abuse cases between 2007-2010, sexual abuse cases made up the greatest share. Additionally of all cases for same time-frame for the seven surrounding states, Utah’s sex abuse average was 16.55% vs. the 7 other surrounding states’ average of 6.55%.

4. Divorces

Apparently Utah’s families are forever plan hasn’t fit in with everyone as their divorce rate has proven to be higher than the national average for several decades now.

U.S.

Utah

1980

5.2

5.4

1990

4.7

5.2

2000

4.0

4.3

2010

3.6

3.7

2011

NA

3.7

2012

NA

NA

NA = Not Available

5. Domestic Violence

2011 – Utah is rated 6th in the U.S. for children who are confirmed by child protective services as victims of maltreatment. (source: KIDS COUNT, 4/2011)

2011 – 3,500 women, children and men lived in domestic violence shelters and domestic violence transitional housing to stay safe.

2011 – 11,000+ people provided w/ nonresidential services such as safety planning, referrals and support groups: Kathryn Monson, Chair of the Utah Domestic Violence Council

42 child deaths in FY 2012 for clients being treated/seen by DCFS. “Overall, deaths among children served by DCFS fell to 42 in fiscal year 2012, compared to 53 the previous year.” – Deseret News

Domestic related homicides & suicides by the year:

2010 – 19

2011 – 33

2012 – 29

Deseret News reports 18 Domestic Related Homicides for 2012. Utah’s Domestic Violence Coalition reports all homicides and suicides which DN did not include.

6. Drug Overdoses

DrugsUtah ranks 4th in the US for overdose deaths

2011 – “An average of 23 Utahans die as a result of prescription opioids each month.”

2010 – 369 poisoning deaths in Utah

2011 – 444 poisoning deaths in Utah

2010 – 278 Rx drug deaths in Utah/236 Rx Opioid Deaths in Utah

2011 – 308 Rx drug deaths in Utah/246 Rx Opioid Deaths in Utah

7. Economy

2011-2012 – Utah enjoys a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the nation @ 5.1% but ranked 14th in the number of foreclosures

2010 – 9th per capita for number of personal bankruptcy filings and saw a 24% increase in number of filings from 2009.

2011 – 4th for personal bankruptcies – “For 2011, Utah was the only state that saw an increase in bankruptcy filings, climbing a modest 1 percent.”

8. Homicides

1980 – 55

1990 – 52

2000 – 43

2010 – 45

2011 – 52

2012 – 49

9. Marriages

US

Utah

1980

10.6

11.6

1990

9.8

11.2

2000

8.2

10.6

2010

6.8

8.5

2011

NA

8.6

2012

NA

NA

NA = Not Available

10. Mental Health

In 2011, Utah high school students reported:

• 26.7% felt sad or hopeless

• 14.3% seriously considered attempting suicide

• 12.4% made a suicide plan

• 7.2% attempted suicide one or more times

• 3.1% of students suffered an injury, poisoning, or an overdose that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt.

2011 – 38.1% of Utahans report at least one day in the last month w/ poor mental health

2011 – Utahans topped the list of states with the greatest number of people thinking about suicide

11. Mormon Population & Utah Population

Utah’s population has almost doubled since 1980 thanks not only to their high birth rate, but people moving in for economic reasons as well. According to the feds census, 31% of Utah’s population is under 18 yrs old while the US’ overall rate is around 23%.

Utah’s population grew by 1.9% compared to the US average of .9%.

In my last report (2010) I gave stats from the Salt Lake Tribune who cited 60.4% of Utah was Mormon. This time I went back to the Trib and they now report Utah was 62.1% LDS. Their stat for 2011 says Utah is 62.2% Mormon.

Nonetheless, Utah’s about 60% Mormon.  It looks like the Mormon population is only growing via their birth rate and not conversions.

Utah Population –

1980 – 1,474,000

1990 – 1,729,227

2000 – 2,246,467

2010 – 2,774,663

2011 – 2,813,923

2012 – 2,855,287

12. Prison Population and Expenditures

PrisonsThis section is one that should alarm (yes, alarm) everyone in Utah. The reality of what goes on in Utah is evident in their prison population. I just about fell out of my chair when I read these numbers.  This reality casts a dark shadow on their family proclamation.

Every year Utah spends close to $30,000 a year per prisoner which is almost 5 times more than they spend on each student ($6,300).  Why have all those kids if you’re not willing to financially invest in their future?

Nationwide approximately 5.2% of the US prison population is made up of sexual offenders compared to Utah’s average of 31%. Sadly 69% of prisoners serving time for sex offenses in Utah were convicted of sex crimes against children – National Corrections Reporting Program, 2009: Offense, by type of admission

Utah has the fifteenth smallest prison population

13. Rape Rate

We can gather and read reports ad nausea and we can wonder why things happen till the cows come home, but all this busyness can’t fix the problem Utah encounters with rape.

Statistical reports serve the purpose of verification in the minds of humans by showing in a tangible way our world is okay, or if needed, spur us into action when it’s not.  Each time I write these reports I do so with the intent someone other than me will see the correlation between the behavioral culture in Utah and the doctrinal treatise espoused by the Church.  Soon after leaving the Church, I became convinced the outcomes of both aren’t coincidental.

As I’ve stated in previous articles Mormonism is built upon two theological principles; sex and godhood. By mandating sex for salvation the Church has taken a gift God gave to mankind in marriage and dragged it down to the level of bestiality He never intended.  Thus the end results are seen with the rape problem in Utah decade after decade.

Historically Utah has witnessed a rape rate exceeding the national average every year for decades and in past reports I’ve compared their rate against four other states and the national average.  I’ve done this again and included the rape rate with seven other states surrounding Utah.

Statistics show one in three women in Utah will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, whereas the national average is one in five.

2011 was the first time since I’ve been doing these reports where Utah saw a drop in the number of rapes for one year.  Even with the decline they’re still above the US average.

2012 Utah and US Rape Rate Compared
Utah rape rate
14. School Population and Expenditures

Expenditures per Pupil in Fall Enrollment Fiscal Years 2008-2012

Utah/US monies spent on students per year

2008 – $6,353/$10,297

2009 – $6,564/$10,591

2010 – $6,373/$10,652

2011 – $6,377/$10,670

2012 – $6,384/$10,855

Utah ranked dead last in the nation with the lowest expenditures per pupil.

Also read our report on the status of Utah’s schools and reasons for teacher termination here:

Suicide and Schools in Utah

Sadly the state of Utah sees a high number of teachers who’ve been terminated for sexual misconduct of some kind and exceeds the national average by more than twice the national rate.

The graduation rate for white students in Utah is about average for the nation, but with the status of non-white graduation rate, Utah has nothing to brag about with this one.

15. Suicides

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Deaf Hotline:

1-800-799-4TTY (4889)

While I’ve attempted to narrow down the focus of this report I can’t dismiss the opportunity of sharing the truth about Jesus’ feelings for you. Regardless of who you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve done He loves you beyond what words could express. There’s nothing you’ve done that is beyond the reach of His redeeming hand.  And I do mean nothing.  Murder, sex crimes, robbery or taking a pen from your employer – no sin is worse than another and nothing stands between you and Jesus except for the closed door you haven’t yet opened.

You may have been abandoned by your parents, siblings, spouse, children and friends, but He will never do that to you. He lived and died specifically to set you free from the bondage that has trapped you into those dark moments in life.

Knowing this truth in life is what drives me to write the reports and expose what goes on in Utah. Too many people are haunted by the unseen demons and unspoken expectations of what Utah culture demands.

If you have the ability to reach out and help with the problems I’ve listed in this report, please, do something today. Not tomorrow. Today.

If you feel you’re one of those lost who needs the help, do something today, right this moment. Don’t become one of the statistics listed here!  Jesus didn’t die for that.  He came for you to have life!

2010 – 1 in 15 adults in Utah seriously contemplated suicide, the highest in the nation

2011 – 1.5% of all US deaths were from suicide

2011 – 3.2% of all Utah deaths were from suicide

Clock Every Day in Utah: 

2010-2012 – 1.4 completed suicides

2010-2012 – 11 suicide attempts

The continual increases we see every year for suicides in Utah can’t be blamed solely on the economy. Nine year old kids don’t know what the economy is and it’s highly unlikely all the 25-34 year old people who account for the greatest number of suicides would solely attribute their problems on unsecured debt. In fact, a report in 2010 showed that only 15% reported financial problems while 40% had past conflicts with their intimate partners.

I’d like to reiterate what I said in my last report by saying there isn’t any one thing we can point to and say “ah-ha, that’s why the suicide rate is so high”.  I don’t buy into the theory it’s the altitude, or solely the economy; nor do I believe it’s all because of the Mormons.

However, I do believe that demonic influences play their part whenever death and destruction are involved no matter from what source they originate. God is not a God of the dead, but of the living (Mark 12:27), thereby negating any notion He doesn’t care what mankind does to themselves or each other.

By that measure I’m confident we can say Mormonism plays its part in what we see year in and year out in my beloved home state.  The spiritual oppression in Utah is hard to ignore whether you’re driving through or actually living there.

Just as Hollywood influences the culture in L.A., so we see Mormonism’s indelible mark upon the culture in Utah and how people there view life in general.  And because the majority of Utah’s population is still LDS, their influence is apparent in the schools, government and even privately owned businesses.

It’s always perplexed me with the Church’s vast platform how they’ve refused to utilize it in a manner befitting true Christianity.  Instead we see wagging fingers and teachings that nothing short of perfection are acceptable before the eyes of God.

The demand of such lofty ideals aren’t meant to bring out the best in mankind, rather they’re utilized to shame and demean people from an early age to gain control and tear at the heart strings of individual members. Survival of the fittest holds true in this scenario with people attempting to climb their perfection ladders to godhood status.

By casting doubts on the translation and validity of the Bible Joseph Smith gained a foothold in the minds of early Mormons which allowed him a rather secure position to introduce his new god.

With seeds of doubt regarding God’s word comes inner self doubt of who God made us to be. The Bible is clear He created mankind to have fellowship with and it’s clear many times over with verses declaring life is in our blood. Alas, this seemingly innocuous thumbing your nose at God’s provision through His word might sound irrelevant to those living in the twenty-first century; a closer looks shows how that seed of doubt and mistrust grew from one generation to the next and had a definite impact on those living in the same vicinity.

Where is the value in the end result of suicide?  Do Smith’s teachings hold power to heal and restore man so he can have a relationship with God? If so, what tangible evidences can be seen to validate man is living in a covenant relationship with God deterring him from wanting to take his own life?  Where are the saviors on Mt. Zion the Church boastfully says they provide?

The residual fruits of Mormonism are casting a dark shadow on the only true church.

A Utah study focused on the ranking of leading causes of death from 1994-1998 according to religious status.  Researchers discovered the LDS’ strict adherence to banishment of alcohol and tobacco provides positive health benefits not typical of non-LDS counterparts in the state.  And to some extent I will agree on that, but it’s a very short leash. http://www.matheson.utah.edu/Annual_Review/UHReview/archives/2000A5.pdf

In a chart created after the pattern found on WISQARS website I found their comparisons of the top ten leading causes of death in Utah by age and religion for both men and women. Data was used from the Utah Department of Health, the US Bureau of the Census and records of deceased members of the LDS Church.

Mormons committed more suicides than non-Mormons and of all the total deaths in those two age groups, Mormons held the greatest share.  Yet somehow they’ve been able to find a way to show a greater percentage of non-Mormons commit suicide than those on the fellowship roles. The following is an excerpt from the chart in the study mentioned above. Numbers & rankings are for male suicides 1994-1998 in Utah.

2012 Utah Suicide LDS and non-LDS
Manipulating numbers to obtain the desired results of what we want to be true is clearly seen in their analysis and in reality we’re all guilty of this at some point in our lives. Attempting to rationalize unacceptable behavior around us is a form of self preservation and understandable; however, there comes a time when forcing a set of blinders on to ignore reality isn’t just detrimental, but downright dangerous if we’re not careful. Utah needs to do more than just acknowledge there’s a problem as they keep doing and address this issue head on.

The group of three LDS men who compiled the report concluded their analysis with the following statement;

“…while suicide had a higher ranking and accounts for a larger proportion of LDS deaths in this age group, non-LDS men actually have a 50% higher mortality rate than LDS men in this age group.”

Apparently it doesn’t matter the numbers are too high or that suicide ranked as the leading cause of death for these young men.  What mattered is the percentages came out higher for non-members if you compare them in a different way.  The significance of why this happens in Utah has been tossed aside in order to shine a favorable light upon the Church.  As in any well run business, it’s all about the bottom line; collateral damage is just an unfortunate but expected byproduct of the beast.

2011 – Utah ranked 8th in the nation for the number of suicides per 100,000 inhabitants.  As with our other comparisons in this report, states surrounding Utah also have a higher average rate of suicide.

Please, pray for these people! In the charts below you’ll see how the suicide rates continue to climb, year after year, decade after decade.

2012 Utah Suicides and Vitals

*2010 – WISQARS (part of the CDC) reports 473 suicides for 2010 as their final tally with suicide as the 6th leading cause of death in Utah

2010 – Utah Dept. of Health listed 456 for 2010.

2011 – Utah Dept. of Health also reported 524 suicides as a preliminary count.

**Utah suicides January 2012-October 17, 2012. Both 2011 & 2012 counts are preliminary and will change (in other words, go up).

Utah US Suicide by Decade

Suicide rates per 100,000

NA = Not Available

1980-2012 Utah Suicides

The Children

2010 – Nationwide 267 children between ages 10-14 committed suicide.  Utah’s kids accounted for 13% of those.

2011 – A child in Utah commits suicide every 12 days

2000 – 2011 on average 29 kids per year in Utah committed suicide

2012 Utah Kids and Suicides

I’ll update final numbers as they become available.

2012 Utah Vital Stats Reference Links

1. http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia10/10a_112011.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6108a1.htm?s_cid=ss6108a1_w#Tab1

http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0103.pdf

2. http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia10/10bx_10122011.pdf

http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/2011bx_Final.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_05.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/provisional_tables/Provisional_Table01_2012Jun.pdf

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55504996-90/birth-census-grew-growing.html.csp

3. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm11.pdf

http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/state-data-repository/cits/2012/2012-utah-children-in-the-states.pdf

http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/soac-2012-handbook.pdf

http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/04/05/davis-may-top-2011-child-abuse-cases-well-2012-out

http://archive.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cwo07-10/cwo07-10.pdf

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm11.pdf

4. http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia10/09to10md_Final_03122012.pdf

http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0078.pdf

http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/12statab/vitstat.pdf

5. http://www.ucasa.org

http://udvc.org/udvc/udvc-publications

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55557987-78/violence-domestic-utah-council.html.csp?page=1

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/jan/02/ut-utah-homicides

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865569730/Domestic-violence-behind-many-of-Utahs-2012-homicides.html

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865569157/Review-of-childrens-deaths-in-Utah-called-heartbreaking.html

6. http://www.standard.net/stories/2011/11/01/utah-ranks-4th-nationwide-overdose-deathss

http://www.health.utah.gov/vipp/pdf/FactSheets/RxOpioidDeaths.pdf

7. http://governor.utah.gov/dea/EconSummaries/EconomicSummary.pdf

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/state-us-bankruptcy-filing-statistics-1276.php

8. http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/utcrime.htm

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55526392-78/police-died-homicide-shot.html.csp

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55539716-78/shot-police-allegedly-killed.html.csp

9. http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia10/09to10md_Final_03122012.pdf

http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0078.pdf

http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/2011bx_Final.pdf

10. http://www.health.utah.gov/vipp/pdf/FactSheets/Youth.pdf

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705392958/Utahns-think-about-suicide-more-than-other-Americans-study-shows.html

11. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home3/53909710-200/population-lds-county-utah.html.csp

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/55504996-90/birth-census-grew-growing.html.csp

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13902873

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/49000.html

12. http://www.vera.org/files/price-of-prisons-utah-fact-sheet.pdf

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2065

http://news.hjnews.com/news/article_af847a0e-3004-11e0-8030-001cc4c03286.html

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pim09st.pdf

13. http://www.ucasa.org

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl05.xls

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl04.xls

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-5

14. http://www.schools.utah.gov/data/Superintendents-Annual-Report/AR-2011-2012/F5CurrentExpendituresPupilFallEnrollmentFY2008-201.aspx

http://lifeafterministry.com/2012/12/13/2012-vital-stats-of-utah

15. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6013a1.htm

http://www.matheson.utah.edu/Annual_Review/UHReview/archives/2000A5.pdf

http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=667&cat=2

http://www.suicidology.org/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=232&name=DLFE-24.pdf

http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/12statab/vitstat.pdf

http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/2011x_final.pdf

http://health.utah.gov/vipp/NVDRS/Overview.html

http://health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/pub_vs/ia10/10x_10252011.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html

http://health.utah.gov/vipp/pdf/FactSheets/Youth.pdf

http://health.utah.gov/vipp/pdf/FactSheets/YoungAdultSuicide.pdf

http://health.utah.gov/vipp/pdf/FactSheets/FemaleAdult.pdf

http://health.utah.gov/opha/publications/other/suicide.pdf

http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate9.html

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