With the nation riveted to the subject of suicide, Utah attracts more and more attention with its astoundingly high rates.

This blog has already noted the many suicides this year at just one Salt Lake City-area high school.

Yet Utah seems distinctly not in crisis mode – there’s little in-depth coverage of the problem in the local press; state government vaguely gestures toward a youth summit here, a not-well-funded research inquiry there…

UD will now suggest some of the possible reasons Utah holds this sad distinction.

Many of the people who live there hate government, and don’t want to pay the sort of taxes that might sustain serious treatment of the problem.

It is illegal in Virgin, Utah not to own a gun. Everywhere else in Utah is awash in guns, though you can choose, legally, not to own one.

Guns are used in over half of American suicides.

If you’re a young Utahan growing up gay, you’re quite possibly at heightened risk of suicide.

It’s a toxic combination of elements.

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