Saving Lives in Yakima During Suicide Prevention Month
This is an important month in Yakima and around the country. September is suicide prevention month. Officials from Safe Yakima Valley and Comprehensive Healthcare want to raise awareness about the problem in Yakima. They say talking about suicide prevention is a good thing and can save lives. So far this year 21 people have committed suicide in Yakima. 22 people had died of a suicide last year at this time.
It's not only a problem in Yakima but also statewide
Suicide is more common than you might think in Washington State. In fact officials Safe Yakima Valley and Comprehensive Healthcare says more than seven times as many people died by suicide in 2019 than in alcohol related motor vehicle accidents in the state. They add more than 5 times as many people die by suicide than are killed in homicides each year in Washington. The officials say suicide rates nationally have dropped on average in the last year but rates for some groups like adolescents, LGBTQ+ youth, Native Americans and African Americans are increasing.
The Department of Veteran's Affairs is trying to save lives
One group that has seen a huge number of suicides is Veterans.
The Washington Department of Veterans Affairs is also working to prevent suicides among veterans telling people to reach out to those who may be struggling.
Seek help by calling the suicide prevention hotline in the state at 988.
Don't miss our conversation on Thursday morning on KIT
Since 2019 Veterans Affairs officials say the "Suicide Prevention program has worked tirelessly to provide aid to those experiencing suicidal ideation. In the past year, the suicide prevention team has increased from a team of one to a team of eight, with four Peer Specialists placed strategically throughout the state of Washington in NW, SW, Central and Eastern regions. Each specialist is uniquely qualified to provide peer-based consultation, education, and connections to resources and to prevent suicides among veterans and their families.
Don't miss our conversation with officials at Comprehensive Healthcare starting at 8:15 am Thursday on KIT.