Wife, Mom, and Grandma
Motivational Speaker and Educator
On June 19, 2014, Laura’s daughter, Hannah, died by suicide at the tender age of 16. Since that time, Laura has dedicated her life to learning from her daughter’s tortured life and death. Not wanting to live a tortured past, she decided she couldn’t do ‘what ifs’. Yet, Laura has overcome great adversity in her life by learning from tragedy.
Thus, she decided to adopt the phrase ‘Because of’. Because of Hannah, Laura has used her skills to help save children everywhere, to comfort other suicide survivors, to remove the stigma of mental illness, and raise awareness about the potentially dangerous long-term effects of concussion. She started a non-profit called Live Hannah’s Hope as a vehicle to bring awareness. Laura currently serves as the Executive Director.
Laura loves speaking to youth and adult groups in any setting. She is very flexible in her approach meeting the needs of the group. One of Laura’s favorite phrases is ‘Let’s talk about it.’
A woman of faith, Laura is always excited at the opportunity to speak with church groups. While she is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she is able to share the keys of hope and faith with any congregation. Hope and education is a key factor in suicide prevention.
Certified in: QPR, SafeTalk, CRP, Peer to Peer Grief Group Facilitation, Learning To Breathe, and a qualified facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie.
Laura has a unique ability to problem-solve and then work with leaders to create functional laws. She has identified many solutions for Utah and helped craft many of Utah’s suicide prevention laws. (here is more on advocacy efforts)
2022 – Owner – The Wellness Center
www.thewellnesscenter.life – Two locations, one in Huntsville, and one in South Ogden. The Center is dedicated to the finest whole-body red light therapy at affordable pricing assisting in the healing of all things physical, mental, and emotional.
2023 – Stop The Stigma.org, Utah’s committee for Children and Families
2017- current, advisory board of MoodDoctor, a start-up by a Utah physician to stem the tide of suicide by offering doctors efficient ways to diagnose properly before prescribing psychotropics.
During the 2018 legislative session, Laura was honored with a citation from the Utah House of Representatives for her work as a youth advocate in suicide prevention.
Also passed in the 2018 session was Hannah’s Bill which funded every suicide hotline in Utah to operate 24/7 staffed by licensed behavioral health professionals.
Enacted Legislation (in previous years)
988 – National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Assisted in the formation and passing of the new national hotline.
HB412 – defines “therapeutic school”; prohibits a municipality or a county from enforcing or enacting an ordinance in a way that fails to comply with state or federal law; and makes technical corrections.
HB92 – FACTUAL INNOCENCE ASSISTANCE AMENDMENTS – This bill modifies provisions regarding financial assistance to a person found to have been wrongfully convicted, to provide that if the person dies, the financial assistance payment shall be paid to the person’s surviving spouse.
HB134 – Parental Notification, in the case of bullying, requires school employees to notify both the parents of the bullied and bullier.
HB105 – Allows for Hemp/CBD Oil to be used in certain circumstances. First of it’s kind in the nation.
HRJ12 – JOINT RESOLUTION ON HOMELESS AND RUNAWAY YOUTH – This joint resolution of the Legislature designates the month of November as “Homeless and Runaway Youth Month.”
HB132 – Runaway Youth Amendments -changed required reporting from 8 hours to 48 hours, created the ability for licensed entities to establish runaway youth shelters. I was appointed by the legislator to represent him in the rulemaking for the implementation this legislation.
HB112 – This bill: requires a licensed audiologist or a licensed hearing instrument specialist to inform each patient about hearing instruments that work with assistive listening systems when offering to sell the patient a hearing instrument; and makes technical changes.
2015 – Session, after Hannah died.
HB209 – This bill requires an individual to complete a course in suicide prevention in order to obtain or renew a license in a behavioral health professional.
HB128 – Maintenance of school records – fixed a problem in an amendment that was placed on HB134 (parental rights notification bill). This was a clean up bill.
HB364 – suicide prevention amendments – refunded the positions of state suicide prevention coordinator and the USOE suicide prevention coordinator.
SB175 – SafeUt, created a commission under the direction of the Utah Attorney General’s office to create and implement the SafeUt cell phone app. The app allows the user to confidentially chat in real time with a masters level behavioral health professional 24/7. Also, it is a tip line in partnership with Utah’s school system enabling any child to submit a tip.
2017 Session –
HB346 – created a new position in the ME’s office to do a forensic autopsy on every suicide.
To request a speaking engagement, please use the contact form below or via the contact us page.