During the monthly news conference on Thursday, Governor Gary Herbert spoke about improving mental health resources and anti-bullying efforts in Utah.
“We need to talk about better counseling in our schools, better parenting. We have people that say, ‘Well, poo-poo that,” and say, “Well that’s not the solution.” It probably is not the solution, but it is a part of the solution,” Herbert said.
During his remarks, he also spoke about how the suicide prevention efforts the state is working on can help increase school safety.
“I think that shows significant benefit to us because one of the things we’ve found is that same kind of social problems and challenges, mental health issues that you have with suicide are very similar to those who in fact will actually go out and cause mass destruction,” he said.
The governor said Utah has been very proactive in responding to the national issue of school shootings. After the shooting in Florida earlier this year, he says the state’s current school safety protocol was reviewed with Utah superintendents and principals.
“We asked them to make sure they were doing what we already had them doing, like drills," he said. "What are we doing to screen people that come onto campuses of our schools? But we also asked them to give us recommendations.”
During the news conference, Governor Herbert also encouraged people to use the Safe UT app.
“You can download it for free. You can give tips. People have counseling needs they can call and talk to somebody on the phone, they can email, you can text back and forth, you can give tips about we think there may be something brewing over here in this school to look into. We know right now that it’s helped prevent some tragedies from occurring in the state of Utah.”