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Intermountain Health and Utah State Athletics Host Suicide Prevention with The Defensive Line

Intermountain Health, The Defensive Line, and Utah State University are working together to bring the message of suicide prevention to the university.

(PRUnderground) November 27th, 2023

Intermountain Health, The Defensive Line, and Utah State University are coming together to talking about suicide prevention at the university among student athletes.

The Defensive Line was founded by Solomon Thomas, a defensive lineman for the New York Jets, along with his parents, Chris and Martha, who have been spreading the message of suicide prevention after Solomon’s sister, Ella, died by suicide in 2018.

Solomon and his parents have dedicated their lives to sharing Ella’s story and working to end the epidemic of youth suicide, especially for young people of color, by transforming how we communicate and connect about mental health.

“We are super excited to partner with such a wonderful partner like Intermountain Health. Working with them along with the fabulous members of Utah State we have created a much-needed environment which provides resources, tools , support, and skills which saves lives. By working together, we advance our mission to end the epidemic of youth suicide by connecting and communicating about mental health/hygiene, reducing suicides, and saving lives,” said Chris or Martha Thomas, co-founders of The Defensive Line.

They were joined by Utah State Football Coach Blake Anderson, who lost his son, Cason, who died by suicide in 2021. The message is part of the “The Strongest Play Is Asking For Help” mental health series.

“The need for mental health awareness has never been more important than it is today. Super excited to work with Intermountain Health and the defensive line and the Solomon Thomas family. They’re doing an amazing job, touching a lot of people, creating a lot of awareness for support and services here in the valley. It’s become something that I feel very passionate about. Happy to be a part of it,” said Coach Anderson.

The Defensive Line co-founders Chris and Martha Thomas, Coach Anderson, USU athletes, Intermountain behavioral health experts were a part of the workshop and panel. Intermountain has partnered with The Defensive Line since 2021 in Nevada and Utah to date on the important message of suicide prevention. Intermountain Health has identified suicide prevention as one of its community health priorities in recent years.

Intermountain aims to prevent suicide partly by integrating mental health with community members’ physical healthcare. Mental health has a significant effect on physical health — and vice versa. As well as establishing Behavioral Health Access Centers in three hospitals to date in Utah which act as emergency departments for behavioral health crisis.

“We hope the message gets out that help is available. Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are treatable conditions.  Appropriate medication and counseling can make a big difference in people’s lives,” said Dr. Sam Weber, Intermountain psychiatrist who spoke at the event.

Intermountain has worked to educate the community members, including healthcare providers, teachers, first responders, and others, on QPR training (question, persuade, and refer for suicidal risks). A key element is about putting time between the crisis and the person at risk and limiting access to lethal means and dangerous medications.

To learn more about the partnership with Utah State University and The Defensive Line on mental well-being efforts of Intermountain and for resources available here.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

The post Intermountain Health and Utah State Athletics Host Suicide Prevention with The Defensive Line first appeared on

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