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In 2017 APD responded to 649 Suicide related calls


Each year 44,965 US Citizens die by suicide.  For every suicide, there are 25 more attempts.  As the 10th leading cause of death in the US, a person dies by suicide every 12 minutes.  The annual suicide rate is 13.26 per 100,000 individuals. Pierce county’s suicide rate is 18.5 per 100,000 people compared with the state average of 15.4 percent per 100,000.  And yet with this staggering statistics, suicide and mental health are still a taboo.

When a celebrity dies by suicide or an overdose, there is a brief respite where society is allowed to discuss mental health without judgment.  When it’s ok to not be ok.  There is an average of 123 suicides a day; it’s always ok to not be ok.


According to the CDC, between 1999-2016 there was an increase of 30%.   Even in light of this Washington State is cited as being 48th in the nation, one of the worst, for mental health care and resources.  The nation’s standard is 26.1 beds per 100,000 citizens, yet South King County and Pierce County have an average of 2.8 beds per 100,000 citizens. “The fact is Pierce and South King County have the great distinction of being one of the worst areas in all of the United States for mental health beds,” said the Pierce County Ad Hoc Behavioral Health Committee.

If someone is in distress and calls for aid, or a welfare check is done, law enforcement officers have the authority to have an individual taken to the emergency room.  The ultimate decision as to whether they will be involuntarily held is made by the  County Designated Mental Health Professional (CDMHP).  This determination is based on many things, but a large factor is if the person is a danger to themselves or others.

suicide, suicide prevention
Note: these are calls for service, not deaths from suicide.

Multicare Auburn has 40 dedicated inpatient mental health beds. 20 for Senior and 20 for involuntarily or potential voluntarily.  St. Joseph in Tacoma has 23 dedicated mental health beds for involuntarily or potential voluntarily use.  These beds are nearly always full, causing patients to be left in the emergency department.  A new dedicated Behavioral Health Hospital is opening in Tacoma in January 2019.  At this time, Auburn City Council has committed none of the requested funding to this resource.

Know the Signs

Suicide is a 100% preventable death.  Signs someone may be considering suicide include:


Giving away prized possessions

Talking about death, dying

Using phrases such as “when I’m gone…” or “I’m going to kill myself”


Getting affairs in order

suicide, suicide prevention

Saying goodbye to loved ones

Obtaining items needed for suicide attempt

Decreased social contact

Increasing drug and alcohol usage

Withdrawing from once-pleasurable activities

Increased risky behaviors

Changes in eating or sleeping habits

Preoccupation with death and dying

Expressed belief that dying or disappearing is the only way to end emotional pain

Feeling helpless; trapped by emotional pain




Intense emotional pain

Feeling hopeless about a situation

Mood swings

Sudden changes in personality

Severe anxiety and agitation

bridge notes, suicide, suicide prevention
Started by a teenager in Europe, Bridge Notes are now being placed in locations known for suicide to give hope to those in despair

If you or someone you know is in crisis or feeling suicidal call one of the numbers below.  Someone is always available to talk.  Remember: No one fights alone.


Pierce County Crisis Line – Ph: 1 (800) 576-7764

King County Crisis Line – Ph: (206) 461-3222 or 1 (800) 244-5767

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline –  1-800-273-8255.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (ESP) – 1-888-628-9454
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Deaf & Hard of Hearing Options) – 1-800-799-4889
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat

Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741 in the US

The Veterans Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255, Press 1.

Safe Call Now – 1-206-459-3020
Safe Call Now is a 24/7 helpline staffed by first responders for first responders and their family members. They can assist with treatment options for responders who are suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and other personal issues.

Fire/EMS Helpline: 1-888-731-FIRE (3473)

The TrevorLifeline – 1-866-488-7386.
TrevorChat can be found at (available 7 days a week from 3PM to 10PM ET).
TrevorText can be reached by texting TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200 (available M-F from 3PM to 10PM ET).
The Trevor Project is a nationwide organization that provides a 24-hour phone hotline, as well as limited-hour webchat and text options, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

The Trans Lifeline – 1-877-565-8860.
The Trans Lifeline is a nonprofit organization that is created by and for the transgender community, providing crisis intervention hotlines, staffed by transgender individuals, available in the United States and Canada.

Washington Recovery Help Line – 1-866-789-1511
WA Recovery Chat:
The Washington Recovery Help Line is a program of Crisis Connections. We offer an anonymous, confidential 24-hour helpline for Washington State residents. Our services include crisis intervention and referral assistance related to substance use disorder, problem gambling, and mental health challenges. Professionally-trained volunteers and staff provide emotional support and connect callers with local treatment resources or additional community services.

Reddit Suicide support: list of local helplines for all 50 states:
Suicide survivor support groups:

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, died from Suicide on July 20, 2017.  He was always open in both his music and interviews about his struggles with addiction and his mental health.  His wife later shared that warning signs were present before he took his own life.

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