At least twenty five people have committed suicide at Hill Air Force Base since 2006. A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune indicates that the rate of suicide at Hill is several times higher than the statewide Utah suicide rate which, in turn, is higher than the national average. The article also indicates that some close to the situation believe that official numbers might be artificially low because they do not include drug overdoses, deaths that cannot be established to be intentional, and deaths of people not considered to be official Hill "people" (non-government contractors).
There does not seem to be any consensus on the root cause(s) of the problem. Outsiders and the rank-and-file point to working conditions, but the base brass look to relationship issues and substance abuse problems as contributors. That said, Hill leaders say that they are focusing on the problem. They have hired independent consultants and a psychologist to study the problem and have tried to emphasize to employees that suicide is definitely NOT the answer to the problems they face.
If you find yourself in a situation that you think is simply hopeless or desperate please stop, consider the situation, look for local help (that is as easy as doing a quick internet or phone book search for local hotlines/help), take a deep breath, and then talk to someone.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.