Valley Behavioral HealthValley Behavioral Health

by Julia Hood, Ph.D., BCBA, NCSP

Many people assume that the rate of suicides increases around the holidays, but that is a false assumption. Suicide rates actually increase in the Spring, which is why it is so important to be aware of factors that influence suicide attempts and how to get help. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be aware of these factors and resources during other times of the year, but we should be particularly vigilant about the increased risk of suicide during the Spring months. It is important to be able to watch for signs that someone may be thinking about attempting suicide and know the resources to get them the support and help they need.

Suicide affects entire communities, including the person attempting suicide and their family, friends, and peers. Utah ranks 5th in the nation for the highest suicide rates.
 Suicide is the number one cause of death in children ages 10-17. It is important to be 
aware of the risk and protective factors associated with suicide so that we can all take 
part in the prevention. Some risk factors that can lead to suicidal ideation and/or attempts include substance use, mental health issues, poor school performance, experiencing crisis
 or trauma, and being the victim of bullying. The number one risk factor for someone to attempt suicide is a previous suicide attempt. Often there will be a noticeable change in behavior prior to an attempt, that may include giving away valued belongings, not speaking about the future, significant changes in mood, feeling trapped in some way, or withdrawal from friends, family and/or the community. Protective factors that can indicate a decreased likelihood of suicide attempts include having a positive school, home, and community environment, positive peer relationships, and exhibiting prosocial behaviors. Valley Behavioral Health has licensed and trained clinicians who can help if you or one of your loved ones is experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm.


Please contact us at 1-888-949-4864

There are a number of resources available to help prevent suicide. There are both Utah and National Crisis lines (see below). There are people who are well-trained to help that can talk at any time. There are also county specific crisis lines.

Utah Statewide CrisisLine: 801-587-3000

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255),

County Crisis Lines:
Davis County 801-773-7060

Salt Lake County (UNI) 801-587-3000 Summit County 435-649-9079 Tooele County 435-882-5600
Utah County 801-373-7393

Weber & Morgan Counties 801-625-3700

Unique to Utah, we have the SafeUT app that can be downloaded and used to chat, text, or provide tips to licensed clinicians 24/7.

SafeUT Crisis Text & Tip Line (download app)

Julia Hood, Ph.D., BCBA, NCSP
About Julia Hood, Ph.D., BCBA, NCSP
Julia Hood completed her Bachelor's degree in Psychology at Westminster College and her Master's and Doctorate degrees in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah. After completing her Doctorate, she worked as a psychologist in Granite School District. She joined Valley Behavioral Health in 2014 as the Director of the Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning. In 2017, she expanded her role as the Senior Director of Clinical Services. She further expanded her role in May 2018 as the Chief Clinical Officer and will work in this role to ensure the highest quality of clinical care for our clients and support the clinical teams across the company.