HCA recognizes September as suicide prevention month
For immediate release.

988 provides support for people in times of suicidal crisis or emotional distress

OLYMPIA, Wash – September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a time to honor the individuals lost to suicide, the millions of people struggling with suicidal ideation, and the families and communities that have been impacted. It is also a good time to raise awareness about suicide prevention and share messages of hope. The Health Care Authority (HCA) encourages Washingtonians to #BeThe1 to help prevent suicide.

“Suicide impacts all ages of Washington State residents, and each attempt and completion is distressing, but it’s heartening to know that suicide is preventable.” said Dr. Keri Waterland, Assistant Director, DBHR. “We can all play a role in preventing suicide by learning to recognize the warning signs, showing compassion, and offering support. Keep 988 in mind if you or someone you know needs someone to call in a time of need.”

People tend to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgment. Because of this, it’s important to learn the warning signs of suicide, self-harm, and substance misuse. If you or a friend is struggling, you should reach out to talk to someone right away. Anyone experiencing a crisis can dial 988 or utilize text and chat functions to connect with a trained counselor.

Washington was the first state to pass legislation in 2021 to implement the hotline and use it for more than just a crisis hotline. Washington also operates the Native and Strong Lifeline, dedicated to providing Native crisis counselors who are tribal members and can more adeptly connect with the community.

Any Washington State agency or partner organization is free to use some or all elements of HCA’s Suicide Prevention Toolkit to promote suicide prevention month and share state and national resources