Bullies have always been a problem. What’s even worse is when you build up all your courage to finally tell a teacher or school administration, and they just tell you some excuses, say to you and your bully, ‘play nice,’ and move on with their lives. Anyone who’s been bullied knows exactly what I’m talking about. That’s why when SafeUT came out, I finally saw a turning point for students who have suffered.
SafeUT was introduced to Utah, because our suicide rate “has shot up 46.5% since 1999… fifth-highest in the nation.” I remember that when I was younger, suicide wasn’t even an idea on my mind. I hardly ever heard about it. Though, that may have been caused by my sheltered childhood, it was unbelievable when I learned that it was real. Knowing people who have depression or other mental illnesses, I see how much more commonly it resides in people’s minds. CDC reported “In 27 states that use the National Violent Death Reporting System, 54 percent of suicides were by individuals without a known mental illness.” However, Joshua Gordon, the National Institute of Mental Health director, said, “When you do a psychological autopsy and go and look carefully at medical records and talk to family members of the victims, 90 percent will have evidence of a mental health condition.” This means that many of those who committed suicide were undiagnosed and “not getting the help they need.” Caring and getting therapy for mental illnesses costs a great deal. For many families, it’s completely unaffordable! Children and teenagers who are desperately in need of help dealing with their mental illnesses are finding nothing out there for them that won’t break the bank. SafeUT gives them another option.
“SafeUT answers crisis calls, texts, and chats—from the young person reaching out or from others. It provides free real-time crisis intervention for people in need. The app was developed at the University of Utah Neurosciences Institute.” Its key features include:
- “Real-time, two-way communication with SafeUT crisis counselors available 24/7
- Confidential and password protected services
- Tips can be submitted with picture and/or video
- Mobile app works with Apple & Android devices”
KSL 5 TV reported, “Students and others have used the SafeUT app to foil 86 planned attacks on Utah schools. The majority of those incidents: weapons brought to school. Recently, students tipped off the SafeUT app about a classmate planning an attack.” Tori Yeates, the interviewee for KSL 5 TV, said, “They were looking at potentially blowing up the school… We were able to go in and find various stages of bomb-making equipment in that students home.” KSL 5 TV continued, “The other students feared the threat was credible and did the right thing.” Tori finished, “They had enough courage to speak up.” That school where that bomb threat arose from was saved from a potentially deadly attack that would’ve scarred students and families for life. SafeUT, and those brave students who spoke up, saved the day.
A close friend of mine used the SafeUT app this year, because there was a boy in her class who was treating her horribly. She turned to me to know what to do, and I said the SafeUT app was where to go. She used it to tell Westlake counselors what was going on. In a few hours, she received a message back from a counselor who wanted to meet with her. After they met, the counselor met with the boy and fixed the issue. After some time, he checked up with her to see how it was going. Because of his intervention, the boy had stopped bullying her, and she was able to safely enjoy class once again.
SafeUT is to be used for all kinds of purposes! Download it on your phone and check it out. You can give a tip on possible school attacks, bullying, suicidal thoughts, and mental health issues. The app was specifically created to help Utah through problems and to get people the help they need. Download it, recommend it to others, and make sure you teach others about what it can do. The more this app is downloaded, the more lives can be saved!