SALT LAKE CITY – Researchers at University of Utah Health’s Huntsman Mental Health Institute have detected more than 20 genes that may play a role in suicide.
The research is the first of its kind, and a Utah mother who is still grieving doesn’t find the results surprising.
Michelle Nelson stands in the bright kitchen of her 101-year-old house in Salt Lake City.
“Amethyst, opalite and crystal,” she said, picking up the small stones from a dish on the counter.
She collects them to help her heal because picking up the pieces after loss is daunting.
“I take Roan everywhere I go,” she said.
Nelson collects heart rocks — stones that naturally form into a heart shape which she finds outside.
“It’s like a gift from nature that reminds me of him,” Nelson said.
Two years ago, her 16-year-old son, Roan McClain, died by suicide.
“It was the biggest shock