Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention Month

September 17, 2020

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is a hard topic to discuss, but the good news is suicide is preventable. According to Washington State Department of Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals 10 – 24 years of age and the eighth leading cause of death for all individuals in both Washington State and Spokane County. This year with the stress of our current pandemic it is more important than ever to learn how to seek help for ourselves and for others. With the right help and resources, we can be prepared and make a difference.

LEARN Method

A first step in supporting people is to use the LEARN method.

L = Look for the signs

Learn the signs of somebody at risk. Things like increased alcohol or substance use, talking or joking about death, significant loss or shame, and self-isolation are examples of signs to take seriously.

E = Empathize and listen

Offer compassion, not advice. Acknowledge what they are feeling and most importantly listen

A = Ask directly

It is OK to ask in a calm and straightforward way if someone is thinking about suicide. 

R = Remove dangers

If somebody tells you they are thinking about suicide, ask if they have a plan or way to carry out their plan. Put time and distance between the person at risk and any lethal means they may use. 

N = Next steps

Call Spokane’s First Call for Help, 877.266.1818, with the person at risk or take them to Inland Northwest Behavioral Health Hospital. If they don’t agree to stay safe, stay with them as long it is safe for you. 

When you call First Call for Help or go to Inland Northwest Behavioral Health Hospital, you connect with people who are experts at helping people through a crisis. Whether you are reaching out for a loved one or yourself, they can address the crisis immediately and then offer evidence-based tools, resources and long-term support. You are not alone. 

Many people have thoughts of suicide, but help is available to get through crisis. Learn how to get help and spread the word. We can save lives. 

Additional Resources: 

  • Inland Northwest Behavioral Health Hospital: Accepts walk-ins: 509.992.1888

  • Washington Listens Crisis Line  Help for stress from the COVID Pandemic: 833.681.0211

  • CHAS Health: 509.444.8200

  • Lutheran Community Services: 509.747.8224

  • Crisis Text Line: Text ‘HEAL’ to 741741

  • Addiction Helpline: 866.789.1511

  • Trans Lifeline: 877.565.8860

  • Trevor Project – LGBTQ: 866.488.7386 or text ‘START’ to 678678

  • Teen Link – Teen Crisis Line: 866 TEENLINK (833.6546)

  • Support on Social Media – Safety teams can reach out to a social media user who may be in crisis and connect them with resources.