by Comprehensive Staff
Suicide is a serious problem worldwide. In the United States, about 40,000 people will take their lives this year.
Suicide risks vary widely, but research shows that certain life experiences can influence people to consider taking their lives. Those experiences include: drug and alcohol abuse, untreated mental illnesses, abuse, trauma, lack of access to mental health services, poverty, bullying, and sexual and domestic abuse.
But what can you do? Just the act of showing care and concern to someone who may be susceptible to suicide can be a life saver. Asking the person if they are OK, listening to what they have to say in a non-judgmental way, and letting them know you care can all have a significant impact. Having strong social connections is a powerful protective factor against suicide, so being there for someone who has become disconnected can be life-saving.
You can also help by learning more about suicide. Comprehensive offers several suicide prevention trainings such as SAFE (Suicide Awareness for Everyone), which is a 90 minute training, and Youth Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health First Aid, which are 8 hours classes.
Although the support of friends and relatives is crucial for people who may be at risk of suicide and for people who have lost someone to suicide, it is not always enough. Often more formal help is needed. Such help can take many forms, and is likely to vary from state to state. In most states, help may include specialized mental health services and primary care providers, both of which offer clinical care. It may also include a range of community organizations that provide non-clinical support, as well as support groups and self-help groups. Part of reaching out to vulnerable individuals should involve assisting them to access relevant services.
Each Washington county has a 24-hour crisis number to call in a mental health crisis.
Yakima – 509-575-4200
Kittitas - 800-572-8122 or 509-925-9861
Klickitat - 800-572-8122 or 509-773-5801
Walla Walla - 509-524-2999
Benton and Franklin - 800-783-0544
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call your local crisis line or the National Suicide Prevention Helpline – 800-273-TALK (8255)
For more information about suicide and mental illness, please visit
QPR Institute: http://qprinstitute.com/
American Society of Suicideology: http://suicidology.org/
Stop A Suicide, Today!: http://www.stopasuicide.org/
NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://namiyakima.org/
Youth Suicide Prevention Program (WA State): http://yspp.org/