How You Can Prevent Suicide in Your Community
This page has the following information.
Where to begin? | Washington's Suicide Prevention Coalitions | Resources for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities | Where to download or purchase resources
Where to begin?
Take a look at the WA State Suicide Prevention Plan (PDF) to see how your role might fit in with others. Appendix A includes some Washington-based resources and suicide prevention organizations. With a SAMHSA youth suicide prevention grant, DOH created a video called “One Conversation Saved My Life ” featuring two Washington teens.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is doing a lot of upstream prevention in public schools. Visit their page for more information on Youth Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has information on services, programs, and resources for veterans and their families. You can also contact your local VA office for materials promoting the Veterans Crisis Line.
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention created a toolkit for communities called Transforming Communities, which summarizes suicide prevention best practices This resource presents seven key elements for comprehensive community-based suicide prevention, all aimed at helping communities create policies, programs, and services that reduce suicide and improve individual, family, and community health. This webinar introduces this resource and the CDC Prevention Suicide technical package.
The CDC has several resources that address upstream recommendations and shared risk and protective factors.
- Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices (PDF): This technical package represents a select group of strategies based on the best available evidence to help communities and states sharpen their focus on prevention activities with the greatest potential to prevent suicide.
- Suicide and Rural Health page: Suicide rates are higher in rural areas than urban ones. This page provides data, policy options, and other resources for rural communities.
- Connecting the Dots is a free, online training that helps users explore shared risk and protective factors across multiple forms of violence. There is also a brief that shares research on connections between different forms of violence and describes how these connections affect communities.
Educate your community about the relationship between common means of suicide and their lethality during a crisis. Reducing access the lethal means can keep someone safe during a crisis. Learn more on the In Crisis page.
Promote Zero Suicide in health systems. The foundational belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for individuals under the care of health and behavioral health systems are preventable. In WA, the Bree Collaborative released the Suicide Care report (PDF), which uses Zero Suicide as a model for recommended practices.
Postvention is prevention. Taking care of individuals, families, and communities after a suicide loss or attempt can also prevention suicides. Visit the Grief Support page for ways to support suicide attempt and loss survivors. Also encourage safe reporting on suicide (PDF) to promote hope and recovery while reducing suicide contagion.
Washington's Suicide Prevention Coalitions
In many communities across Washington State, community members have formed local suicide prevention coalitions that meet regularly. If you would like to actively participate in preventing suicide, please consider joining a suicide prevention coalition in your community. Each coalition maintains its own meeting schedule and agenda. Please contact the identified facilitator for meeting times and location details. Most coalitions take a break over the summer.
For meeting dates and locations, contact facilitator.
Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties – Suicide Prevention Coalition of North Central Washington
Facilitator: Julie Rickard
Clark County – Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance
Facilitator: Kathy Deschner
Douglas County – TOGETHER! For Youth
Facilitator: Mondo Davila
Garfield County Human Services
Facilitator: Danika Gwinn
Kitsap County – Kitsap County Human Services
Contact: Hannah Shokley
Pierce County – Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition
Facilitator: Bob Anderson
Skagit County – Concrete Resource Coalition
Facilitator: Stephanie Morgareidge
Spokane County – Prevent Suicide Spokane
Coordinator: Keara Peltram
Walla Walla Valley Region – Reach Out Walla Walla
Facilitator: Jessalyn Waring Bruce
Whatcom County – MAD-HOPE Youth Suicide Prevention
Contact: Jeff McKenna
Contact: KaSandra Church
Whitman County – Healthy Tekoa Coalition
Facilitator: Diane Harp
Statewide – Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) Coalitions
Contact your local coalition for more information on their work.
Statewide – National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) WA chapters
Resources for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
- American Indian Health Commission's Pulling Together for Wellness
- Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board's Tribal Health – Reaching out InVolves Everyone (THRIVE)
- Healthy Native Youth
- Hope for Life Day Toolkit
- First Nations Youth Suicide Prevention Curriculum
- Center for Native American Youth
- One Sky Center
- SAMHSA's Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center
- I Know Mine
- Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
- Tanana Chiefs Conference
Where to download or purchase resources
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
- American Association of Suicidology
- International Association for Suicide Prevention
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Crisis Text Line School Toolkit
- Seize the Awkward campaign
- Veterans Crisis Line Shareable Materials