Miss Pleasant Grove travels Utah teaching suicide prevention

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SALT LAKE CITY — Miss Pleasant Grove talked about the effects suicide had on her life during an interview Wednesday for Suicide Prevention week.

Lauren Wilson is the 2013 Miss Pleasant Grove and she chose suicide prevention as her platform. Wilson said her reasons for choosing to focus on suicide prevention were personal. She said three students at Pleasant Grove High School died by suicide in 2012, including her best friend.

"This past February actually my best friend took her life and it was a complete shock to a lot of us," Wilson said. "We had no idea that anything that would cause her to take her own life was happening."

Wilson said she feels passionately about the issue of suicide and that she wants to teach others about alternative methods for dealing with depression.

"So I have really taken it as my platform to go around the community and make my way around Utah to educate people on different resources and warning signs," she said.

Wilson said that although very tragic, the deaths have united the community of Pleasant Grove.

Suicide Prevention Events:
  • September 12 – Box Elder County Town Hall Meeting on suicide prevention initiative
  • September 14 –Suicide awareness walk at Sugarhouse Park coordinated by Utah Chapter of the American Suicide Foundation (www.afsp.org)
  • September 14 – Suicide awareness walk organized by Utah County prevention task force
  • September 21 – Suicide prevention walk organized by Weber Prevention coalition- Downtown Ogden at the America First Harvest Moon Festival
  • September 27 – Weber Town Hall Meeting on suicide awareness October 19 – National Alliance on Mental Illness annual walk to raise awareness at Liberty Park (www.namiut.org)

"It has really brought Pleasant Grove together," she said. "We had had suicides before but we haven't had multiple in one school year. So it has really brought us together and educating each other and really just being a friend to those around us."

Pleasant Grove High School has since established a "Hope Squad" as a resource for struggling students. In the system of the peer-led group, "Hope Squad," one student is nominated from each class as a person that students feel comfortable talking to. That student can then refer others to further resources and counseling.

"My message is that suicide is not an option," Wilson said. "It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Ultimately, the treatment does work. There are many different things and places you can go to get help."

For anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and Utah Crisis line (UNI) is 801-587-3000.


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