Awareness paramount as state’s suicide rate continues to climb, health department says
OLYMPIA — Health officials hope National Suicide Prevention Week, running from Sept. 8-14, can go a long way in stemming the slowly rising tide of suicide prevalence in Washington state.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, suicide rates increased slightly in Washington from 2006-2012.
The state ranks 21st nationally in suicides, and an average of three people take their own lives in Washington each day, the health department said. Suicide remains the eighth leading cause of death in the state, and is the second leading cause in the 15-24-year-old age group.
Thousands of others Washington residents are hospitalized each year after hurting themselves, officials said.
The Department of Health is hoping suicide prevention week can shed light and public awareness on a problem that is often overlooked. Suicide is preventable, the health department said, if friends and family know how to recognize the signs.
“Most people considering suicide give warnings,” the health department said. “It’s important to pay attention when people talk about feeling trapped, or about being a burden to others.”
Indicators someone is thinking about suicide are: Increasing alcohol or drug use, acting anxious or agitated, behaving recklessly, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawing or feeling isolated, showing rage or talking about seeking revenge, and displaying extreme mood swings.
The health department said if you notice someone talking about wanting to die, looking for a way to kill themselves, or having no reason to live, immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255, or a mental health professional.
For more information about suicide prevention, click here.