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A new report from the Utah Department of Health suggests the number of Utah suicides continues to climb, with preliminary data pointing to 500 deaths for 2011.

The year before, 456 Utahns died by suicide, compared to 357 in 2006.

"Suicide is one of those things that can be uncomfortable to talk about," Jenny Johnson, of the department's Violence and Injury Prevention Program, said in a news release. "But the data show this is an alarming problem in our state that we can't ignore any longer."

Though men between the ages of 25 and 64 make up 53 percent of suicides, more women attempt suicide than men. The Suicide Prevention Coalition has been formed to work to decrease suicides and suicide attempts. A public awareness campaign will begin later this year.

Help is available 24 hours a day at a statewide crisis line 801-587-3000 or the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine at 1-800-273-TALK. More information is also available at:

Julia Lyon —

For more on suicide in Utah

Utah has one of the highest suicide rates in nation,

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