Mental health promotion and suicide prevention
September is Suicide Prevention Month (09/13/22)
- Depression is a feeling of sadness, helplessness and hopelessness that lingers over time. Untreated it can lead to alcohol abuse and even suicide (Galaif et al, 2007).
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Washington youth 10-24 years old (Washington State’s Plan for Youth Suicide Prevention, 2014).
Youth mental health in Washington State:
- 40 percent of 10th grade students report feeling so sad or hopeless for two weeks or more that they stopped doing their usual activities (Healthy Youth Survey, 2018).
- One in 10 high school students report having attempted suicide in the past year (Healthy Youth Survey, 2016).
Mental health promotion strategies are being implemented throughout the state at local, county, and state levels, across the Continuum of Care that influence multiple domains and risk and protective factors. Here is a list of some state-wide initiatives focused specifically on mental health promotion and suicide prevention:
- Washington State Suicide Prevention Plan – Statewide plan developed by Department of Health and the State Suicide Prevention Plan Steering Committee
- The Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery supports community-based organizations with mental health promotion and suicide prevention grants across the state
- Forefront Suicide Prevention – University of Washington, School of Social Work
- Youth Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention – Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Reporting on Suicide is a recommended resource for media partners covering suicide. This resource explains how we can reframe a story on suicide to offer hope and encourage people to seek help. Best practices and guidelines for talking about suicide continue to evolve as we learn from research and the guidance of people who have attempted suicide or lost a loved one to suicide. Here is a current example of safe messaging.
We also encourage promoting local resources in articles. State services can be found through Medicaid mental health services and mental health crisis lines by county. 2-1-1 is also a great place to find local resources.
Mental Health Promotion and Integration Supervisor