Utah adds Spanish version of suicide prevention tool on World Mental Health Day

Oct 10, 2023, 7:52 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah celebrated World Mental Health Day with a first-of-its-kind prevention training — in Spanish.

The “Live On” suicide prevention playbook launched on Instagram a year ago and today Utah’s Department of Health released a Spanish version.

“We want to remind everyone that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Karla Arroyo, Executive Director of the Multicultural Counseling Center said. “There’s always a way out.”

Luisa Hansen, with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, said it was known that the topic can be taboo.

“The lessons are different because we go and give them the baby steps that perhaps the English-speaking community has received over years; the Spanish community has not,” Hansen said.

Those who helped create the program said there were unique challenges to tailoring the content for the Spanish-speaking community, which they said is less likely than English-speakers to seek help. For example, in developing the lessons through focus groups, they learned the phrase “mental health” was too harsh and using the term was a barrier.

Mental health receiving center revamped, now open in Salt Lake City

“They did not connect with that term,” Hansen said. “So we call it emotional health and what they said was ‘Yes, you’re talking about my emotions, something that I can be healed from, or that I feel this way but I don’t feel like that all the time, or that I can recover.’ And they were so open to that.”

The Department of Health said more than 90 percent of Utahns have been impacted by suicide in some way and that the Live On Spanish playbook will increase accessibility to the important information that can save lives by recognizing signs of depression and having difficult conversations with someone who is struggling.

In either language the Live On playbook has the most important things a person should know to help prevent suicide. It includes lessons that take five to seven minutes to complete.

It is available on Instagram and Facebook as Live On Latino. It is also on YouTube below.

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Utah adds Spanish version of suicide prevention tool on World Mental Health Day