Utah has seen a staggering increase in youth suicide and some advocates blame LDS Church policies. Wednesday, we’re asking what the research shows and how religion can hurt or help kids in crisis.
This weekend is the Love Loud Festival. It’s a music event created by Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons aimed at raising awareness of the risk LGBTQ youth face when they aren’t accepted by their Mormon communities. In Utah, advocacy groups point to the staggering increase in youth suicide and some blame LDS Church policies. So Wednesday, we’re asking what we can say about the causes of youth suicide in Utah, how religion can hurt or help, and what we should be doing to save our kids.
- Lee Hale covers religion and education for KUER. His story Can The LDS Church Be Blamed For Utah's LGBT Suicides? airs Wednesday morning during Morning Edition on KUER.
- Justin Dyer is principal investigator for BYU's Family Foundations of Youth Development project and is an assistant professor in Religious Education. He formerly was faculty in the BYU School of Family. Read his Deseret News op-ed Responding to Ellen on Mormons and teen suicide.
- Kimberly Anderson studies Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling at University of San Francisco. She recently resigned as Vice President of Affirmation, a support group for LGBTQ Mormons. She continues to provide suicide prevention training for Affirmation and other groups and is also creator of the Mama Dragons Story Project.
- Believer, the documentary film featuring Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, focuses on how the Mormon Church treats LGBTQ members. It is available on HBO On Demand through July 29. We spoke with Reynolds and director Don Argott at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
- Utah Department of Health, Violence & Injury Prevention Program