SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., September 1, 2021 – The Snohomish County Children’s Wellness Coalition today announced the creation of the Snohomish County Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force (YSPTF). The YSPTF will work to reduce incidence of suicide and increase the mental health and resiliency of youth.
Suicide is preventable, and yet it is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and 2nd leading cause of death for youth in Washington State. In Snohomish County, suicide is the highest cause of death for youth ages 10-17, and the 2nd highest cause of death for 15-24 year olds.
Over the years, suicide has been addressed by providing mental health services to young people who disclosed having thoughts of suicide or who exhibited behaviors that professionals, such as school counselors, identified as putting them at risk. Unfortunately, this approach is limited in its ability to prevent suicide. While services are critical for those who may be thinking about or who have made a suicide attempt, there are a limited number of people in the community who correctly identify youth at risk for suicide and many barriers (barriers may include: parental stigma, limited resources, abusive homes, etc.) youth face in receiving the services that best meet their individual needs. There are also other factors, in addition to mental health, which place young people at risk for suicide. A community collaboration and public health approach to suicide prevention can address these factors and prevent youth suicides.
To take a more comprehensive approach to youth suicide prevention, the Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force (YSPTF) has been newly formed. The YSPTF is a subcommittee of the Snohomish County Children’s Wellness Coalition consisting of many disciplines across multiple sectors (e.g., health, media, social services, criminal justice, education, public health, crisis services) with the goal of reducing youth (age 10-18) suicide, ideation, planning and attempts across Snohomish County. We plan to do this by:
Facts about suicide:
With a multi-disciplinary approach and working with community partners, the Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force aims to save the lives of our youth. To learn more about the YSPTF visit www.snocochildrenswellnesscoalition.com
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, increased stress, or feeling like a burden, reach out to talk with a counselor today:
Wendy Burchill, Rena Fitzgerald, Nicole Daugherty, Amber Noone