Suicide Prevention Month
Last updated: October 10, 2019, at 11:23 a.m. PT
Originally published: September 10, 2019, at 9:45 a.m. PT
We Can Prevent Suicide
September is Suicide Prevention Month. We face a crisis in our state. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the state of Washington for young people ages 10-24 years old and the second leading cause of death nationally. We can and must make a difference for young people in our community.
Preventing suicide is at the forefront of our work. We believe in helping all young people to reach their full potential in mind, body, and spirit. We understand that mental illness needs to be discussed and the stigma trampled. Through inclusive camp experiences, social emotional classroom learning, and strengths-based social services support, we meet young people where they are to provide safe places, free of stigma, where they can be themselves.
How We Prevent Death by Suicide
For over ten years, we have provided the Children’s Crisis Outreach Response System (CCORS) for youth and their families in King County. CCORS is free of charge, and is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days per year.
This program prevents hospitalization and stabilize young people with short-term, immediate support who are going through a behavioral health crisis, such as suicidal thoughts or violent outbursts. We serve young adults up to age 25, young people with disabilities, and those impacted by the justice system.
CCORS can be accessed through 2-1-1, and Crisis Connections at 206-461-3222.
How to Support Someone Who is Having Suicidal Thoughts
- Recognize warning signs – changes in mood and behaviors i.e. reduced interest in things that the person normally enjoys, giving things away, statements that indicate a sense of hopelessness or feeling worthless, self-destructive behaviors.
- Take it seriously and take time to listen. Let them know you are concerned and care about them and they are not alone. Ask them how you can support them.
- Ask questions. Bringing up the question of whether they are feeling suicidal will not give them ideas. Talking about it openly is one of the best things you can do.
- Help them get professional help. Call the crisis line to get advice and referrals. Help them get to the ER if needed or a counseling appointment.
- Make a safety plan to identify any triggers that may lead to a suicidal crisis, such as an anniversary of a loss, alcohol, or stress from relationships. Also include contact numbers for their doctor or therapist, as well as friends and family members who will help in an emergency.
- Remove any potential means of suicide i.e. pills, knives, razors or guns and lock up medications.
- Encourage positive lifestyle changes such as healthy diet, getting outside in the sun and nature as well as exercise that can help relieve stress and promote emotional well-being.
If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a loved one or friend, or would like emotional support, please contact the following resources.
- Crisis Connections (King County): 2-1-1 or 206-461-3222. Crisis Connections is a 24/7 hotline that can connect you with our CCORS program.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8225) or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- For help, text ''HOME'' to 741741 for a 24/7, free, confidential crisis counselor or call 1-800-TEENLINK (833-6546) to speak with a caring teen.
- Forefront: Forefront’s mission is to educate and empower individuals and communities to improve mental health services and suicide prevention policy. The organization supports the training of health care professionals who assess, manage and treat those at risk for suicide, and encourages the news media to report responsibly on suicide and mental health issues. https://socialwork.uw.edu/research/suicide-prevention