To help reduce the number of suicide deaths in Utah, new features are being added to the SafeUT app. The app allows users to talk with a crisis counselor or submit a tip if they have a safety concern about their school.
The app first became available to K-12 and University of Utah students in 2016. This school year, other higher education institutions like Utah State University will have access to the app.
“I feel like at USU we have culture of taking care of our family members. So this app, it would really build on it, the same way that our bystander intervention program builds on that culture that’s already existing,” said Amanda DeRito, the sexual misconduct information coordinator at Utah State University.
“One of the main challenges as far as making the app effective at Utah State will be getting students to download the app,” DeRito said. “And that’s a challenge using any sort of app, or really any campus app anywhere.”
Promoting the app will include the use of promotional materials, digital signage on the online student portal and social media.
“Also, we are starting a whole new year,” DeRito said. “So we have a whole new year of Connections students. That’s about 65 percent of our incoming freshman take that, so it’s a really good vehicle to tell students about things.”
Launching the app on all college and university campuses in the state will be an ongoing process throughout the 2018-2019 school year. The app will officially be available to Snow College and Salt Lake Community College students next week.