I am writing in response to Fred Burton’s letter, which appeared in the June 28 issue of The Tribune.
He takes issue with a letter from Jason Chandler, printed June 24, which expressed concern about the 46 percent increase in suicides since 1999. Burton then goes on to say Chandler “forgot to factor in the increase in Utah population — 43 percent since 1999, resulting in a trivial change in the number of suicides.”
First of all, Mr. Burton, if you had bothered to check the data, you would’ve found the increase to have been 15.8 per 100,000 in 1999 to 24.2 per 100,000 in 2016 (from the Utah Department of Health). Note that this is per 100,000. Therefore, Utah’s population increase does not factor into these statistics.
Finally, as a father who has lost a son to suicide, I find Burton’s use of the word “trivial” to be extremely offensive. It makes me wonder at his motivation behind writing his letter.
Mr. Burton, there is nothing trivial about even one suicide.
Jerry Neves, Sandy