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Utah health department to ask students their sexual orientation in youth risk survey

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health is predicted to ask college students their sexual orientation in its annual survey of youth threat behaviors.

With youth suicides at an epidemic stage in Utah, the LGBTQ rights group Equality Utah mentioned gathering knowledge on college students’ sexual orientation will assist in figuring out at-risk youth and getting applicable companies to them.

“In other words, school administrators can use this data to decide what resources would best help their LGBTQ students,” the group mentioned in a weblog submit on Monday. “It’s a classic case of using data for good.”

The state well being division often conducts an nameless pupil threat survey amongst junior excessive and highschool youth on topics like substance abuse and suicide. Up till 2015, the state refused to ask a pupil’s sexual orientation. In 2016, the state began to ask the query, however Equality Utah mentioned the Davis School District and Cache School District refused to manage the youth threat survey.

“These school districts claim questions about sexual orientation are ‘too sensitive’ for students,” the group mentioned.

However, Equality Utah mentioned the state won’t ask if college students are transgender, which it nervous might skew the info.

As a part of a youth suicide job pressure report due out Tuesday, Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams advised FOX 13 the sexual orientation query could be requested in future surveys.

Governor Gary Herbert has mentioned the state is within the midst of an emergency relating to suicide in Utah. The state’s youth suicide price is 141% above the nationwide common. LGBTQ youth are 4 occasions extra prone to expertise suicidal ideation than their straight counterparts, and Williams mentioned that quantity doubles if they’re kicked out of their houses.

The governor convened a job pressure with all kinds of well being, advocacy, non secular and political leaders taking part. They have an edict to current suggestions to him on methods to fight the youth suicide drawback in Utah. The report is to be made public on Tuesday.

If you or somebody you realize is scuffling with ideas of suicide, assist is on the market 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can additionally go to Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for extra assets. You may also obtain the SafeUT app for fast, confidential disaster companies.

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