A new task force created to try and slow a troubling rise of teen suicides in Utah is recommending that officials ratchet up public messaging to implore gun-owing parents to keep firearms locked up.
The coalition's recommendations unveiled Tuesday also urge lawmakers to find funding to expand existing programs that seem to help, including crisis outreach teams that go to person's home after a call is made to a crisis hotline.
Guns were used by about half of the 42 youth age 10-17 who killed themselves in 2017, state data shows. That matches historical trends that show firearms are the most common weapon used in youth suicides.
Gov. Gary Herbert created the coalition in January. The average yearly total of youth suicides over the last five years has more than doubled the yearly average from the previous decade.