Each week in Washington State, an average of two young people die by suicide and another 17 suicide attempts result in hospitalization, according to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program website.
While these facts are disturbing, there is hope, YSPP officials say. "By educating ourselves and others, we can make a difference."
Suicide warning signs according to YSPP include:
a prior suicide attempt, talking about suicide and making a plan, giving away prized possessions, preoccupation with death, signs of depression, hopelessness and anxiety, increased drug and alcohol use. A warning sign does not automatically mean a person is going to attempt suicide, but it should be taken seriously.
Learn more about suicide and what you can to do help
Officials from YSPP believe that middle and high school students and college students can and should learn the warning signs and intervention strategies to help their friends. "We don’t expect them to conduct a professional assessment but we want them to befriend a person in despair and offer support and reassurance and referral to help," they say on the website.
Following are some resources available for teens and adults feeling depressed or thinking about suicide:Friends of Youth Main office: Redmond Youth Eastside Services
(Topic articles, including spotting suicide warning signs) Main office: Bellevue Youth Suicide Prevention Program
(Youth suicide frequently asked questions) Main office: Seattle James Mazza, associate professor at the University of Washington
(Expert on adolescent mental health and suicide) Main office: Seattle Sound Mental Health Main office: Seattle Crisis Clinic Main office: Seattle Washington State Family Policy Council Main office: Olympia