HEALTHY MIND MATTERS

SafeUT exchanges more than 1 million messages, conducts 349 life-saving interventions

Dec 8, 2022, 12:06 PM | Updated: 12:32 pm
(SafeUT)...
(SafeUT)
(SafeUT)

SALT LAKE CITY — The SafeUT app is a tool that could help save lives. Those who are responsible for the free resource are celebrating what they call a “milestone.”

It’s a first — over a 12-month period, over one million messages were exchanged between SafeUT counselors and people needing help, such as students, parents, and teachers. An indication that no matter the crisis, someone is ready to listen.

This is how it works. You download the free SafeUT app on your phone and can call, chat, or submit an anonymous tip to a crisis worker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Everyone can struggle with mental health challenges, everyone can experience suicidal thoughts, and there is a safe place to turn to,” said Rachel Lucynski, director of community crisis services at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.

The Huntsman Mental Health Institute and the SafeUT commission shared some encouraging news about the app. Between July 2021 and June 2022, SafeUT conducted 349 life-saving interventions, up 17% from last year’s 298.

In a press release, they stated: “SafeUT received 8,537 tips from Utah K-12 and higher ed students, parents/guardians, and educators, including 1,579 suicide tips, 994 bullying tips, and 456 depression tips. That’s up from 6,274 last year.”

“One million is certainly a milestone, but 350 is the number to remember. Over the past year, 350 kids that are alive now that probably wouldn’t be without SafeUT,” said Ric Cantrell, chair of the SafeUT Commission.

More key statistics from the 2021-22 annual report:

  • 882,427 students have access to the SafeUT app across Utah, up from 850,790 last year
  • SafeUT received 8,537 total tips from Utah K-12 and higher ed students, parents/guardians, and educators, including 1,579 suicide tips, 994 bullying tips, and 456 depression tips. That’s up from 6,274 last year
  • SafeUT received 801 tips for potential school threats or acts of violence, including 157 for guns, 149 for planned attacks, 75 for assault, and 70 for fights. That’s up from 256 threat tips last year

The commission said it’s up to the community to keep the conversations going.

“It takes a village to keep all of our youth and young adults safe, to keep our schools as safe as they are in Utah,” Lucynski said.

The app is also a resource for Utahns serving in the Army National Guard, and their families, as well as Utah law enforcement and first responders.

The 2021-22 SafeUT Annual Report is available for download. You can also learn more about SafeUT here.

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SafeUT exchanges more than 1 million messages, conducts 349 life-saving interventions