Suicide rates are on the rise in Washington State and they're growing in Yakima. Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins says 27 people committed suicide in Yakima county in 2016 and the same number was recorded in 2017. "We're at 22 right now and if the trend continues we'll have more than 27 by the end of the year."
Hawkins says a majority of the suicides involve young people who use guns to end their lives.
Statewide suicide numbers show an increase. According to the State Department of Health in 2017, 1,300 Washingtonians died by suicide, and from 2006 to 2017 suicide in Washington State increased by an average of 2.5 percent annually.
Hawkins says talking to family members when a suicide is involved is one of the toughest parts of his job.