Prevent Suicide in Your Community

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
Phone: 360-624-6816

Douglas County – TOGETHER! For Youth

Facilitator: Mondo Davila
Phone: 509-860-8173

Garfield County Human Services

Facilitator: Danika Gwinn
Phone: 509-758-3341

Kitsap County – Kitsap County Human Services

Contact: Hannah Shokley

Pierce County – Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition

Facilitator: Bob Anderson
Phone: 253-753-3013

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
Phone: 509-284-2781

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

Phone: 206-783-4288

Resources for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

Where to download or purchase resources

More information

Data and Reports | Events | Grief Support | State Actions