Leave a comment

#JamesDonaldsononMentalHealth – Rise In #KingCounty #TeenSuicide Seen After 3 Die Over Weekend

The number of #teensuicides in #KingCounty is pacing higher than in recent years. Experts say talking about the issue is imperative.


By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff
Red mock tombstones for people who died by suicide in Washington on display near in Olympia on March 12, 2019.
Red mock tombstones for people who died by #suicide in Washington on display near in Olympia on March 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE, WA — #KingCounty health officials are watching for a possible rise in #teensuicides after three teenagers died by suicide in separate cities over the weekend.

The three teens were from #Shoreline, #Bellevue, and #Woodinville. Two were 16, one was 17. The deaths happened near each other in a short time period, but neither the King County Sheriff’s Office nor Bellevue police believes they are connected.

According to King County, seven people under 17 have died by suicide so far in 2019. That’s as many as have occurred in entire years in the past, according to county statistics. In addition to the three deaths since Friday, a fourth teen died by suicide last week before the weekend, according to #KingCountyPublicHealth.

As difficult a topic it is, experts say that teen suicide is a public health issue, preventable, and must be talked about. In #Washington, two people between age 10 and 24 die by suicide each week on average.

“It’s a very basic message: we have to start by talking to our kids and know what’s going on and what to look for,” said Dr. Daniel J. Reidenberg, executive director of the nonprofit #SuicideAwarenessVoicesofEducation (SAVE).

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for teens between 15 and 19 in Washington, according to the #OfficeofSuperintendentofPublicInstruction (OSPI). And Washington’s suicide rate, in general, is 15.7 per 100,000 people, higher than the national average of 13 per 100,000.

Guns were used in two of the weekend suicides, which tracks with a long-term trend in King County: between 2000 and 2016 suicide by gun remained steady, more than double the rate of homicides by gun. There are about 106 gun suicides in the county each year compared to 37 gun homicides.

The rate of gun suicides among young people has remained low, however. The rate between 2012 and 2016 was 2.2 per 100,000 among children between 12 and 17, the lowest rate among any age group in the county.

Suicide deaths in King County, 2008-19

Years Under 17 Total in King County Share of teen suicides
Jan. 1 – April 16, 2019 7 96 7.29%
2018 12 317 3.78%
2017 9 298 3.02%
2016 11 285 3.85%
2015 12 262 4.58%
2014 9 263 3.42%
2013 8 266 3%
2012 14 281 4.98%
2011 6 265 2.26%
2010 5 232 2.15%
2009 7 253 2.76%
2008 9 210 4.28%

Camille Goldy, head of the state superintendent’s #BehavioralHealthandSuicidePreventionProgram, said that state laws passed in 2013 and 2014 require public schools to enact suicide-prevention curriculum, and require staff to be trained to recognize signs of suicide.

It’s too early to know if the laws have reduced suicide in teens, Goldy said. It will likely take until next year for all school staff required under state law to complete suicide prevention training. Implementation of suicide prevention curriculum differs from district to district, Goldy said, and often depends on an individual district’s available resources.

#BellevueSchoolDistrict spokesman Michael May said that students begin learning about mental health and emotions as early as the 7th grade. The district is also piloting a new suicide prevention program for high schools and middle schools that helps students identify suicide warning signs.

(The Bellevue student who died over the weekend attended a private school in Seattle. State laws do not apply to private schools, but that student’s school does offer comprehensive mental health counseling.)

This week, the #PuyallupSchoolDistrict brought a suicide survivor to that city to talk to students. Kevin Hines, who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in 2000, has also spoken to students in Gig Harbor.

The #ForefrontSuicidePrevention program at the #UniversityofWashington is also working in local schools to supplement suicide prevention training — which is sometimes lacking.

“From our work over the last 3 years, we have learned that most schools have robust procedures to deal with fires, disasters and active shooters, but procedures for responding to mental health crises are typically limited or non-existent. Similarly, schools rarely have curriculum or training for teachers, students and parents around #suicideprevention and #mentalhealthawareness,” Forefront notes on its website.


  #JamesDonaldson notes:

Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.

Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.

Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle




Forefront began offering its program in 16 individual schools in multiple cities around the region, from #WhidbeyIsland to Seattle, in 2017 (Forefront worked with a separate group of 13 schools between 2015 and 2018).

The toll suicide takes on a school is immense, experts say. In King County, the medical examiner will report incidents of suicide in young people, which allows #PublicHealth put local nonprofits on notice in case extra resources are needed at schools. In addition, the county’s #Children’sCrisisOutreachResponseSystem (CCORS) can dispatch a team within two hours to help families deal with an immediate crisis.

In the case of teens, there’s no one reason why it happens. #Bullying and #cyberbullying have been identified as #suicideriskfactors, but have not been definitively linked as a cause. Recently a scare involving the social media phenomenon “Momo Challenge” has been exposed as a myth.

#Suicide is rising in general across the U.S. Rates rose in every state except Nevada between 1999 and 2016, according to the #CentersforDiseaseControl, and nearly half of people who die by #suicide do not have a known #mentalillness.

The phenomenon of #suicide “contagion,” where one death triggers others, is very rare, Reidenberg said. The best way to prevent these deaths, he said, is to recognize the warning signs and know what resources are available.

Experts say that suicide is preventable, and there is hope for anyone contemplating it.

“Talking about #suicide does not introduce the idea of #suicide,” OSPI’s Goldy said. “It’s really OK and the best practice to ask directly about someone’s feelings toward suicide. Are they experiencing suicidal thoughts? And help that person get access to support.

“That’s where our opportunity lies,” she said.

Earth Photo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Mental health, beauty, lifestyle, books

CW Seattle

Home Of CW11

Park Preview

A guide to Seattle area parks with an emphasis on accessibility, photography, and birds.

Self Care & Mental Health

Know Your Worth; Own Your Life

Damon Ashworth Psychology

Melbourne Clinical Psychologist

Blind Injustice

Injustices we may not be aware of

西雅图中文电台 Chinese Radio Seattle

AM 1150, HD-3 FM 98.9, 手机收听:Chinese Radio Seattle | 西雅图中文电台, 周五到周日每晚7点到12点,周一到周四每晚9点到12点, 微博/Facebook: ChineseRadioSeattle, WeChat: SeattleToday/SeattleChineseRadio

acadia creative - designwise

Useful tips and tricks on design and marketing for your business


Just another WordPress.com site


Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever


Simply Sharing.... Reality Check

Dan Weedin

Advisory/Risk Strategy/Insurance

Official Reuven Carlyle Blog

State Senator from Washington's 36th Legislative District

An Urban Sip Wine Blog

Wine Paired with Life...Think Liquid Nudist Camp

Mike Margolies- The Mental Game

How Sport Psychology Explains the World

Mywritingmentor's Weblog

Book Reviews and Book Coaching News

%d bloggers like this: