According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than 42,000 Americans die each year by suicide – one death approximately every 13 minutes – making it the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. For youth aged 10-18, it is the 3rd leading cause of death.
In Washington State, suicide rates are even higher than the national average, at 15.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 12.93 per 100,000.
Over the past few years, suicide has touched the Mount Si High School community, leaving parents and students wondering how they can do more to help those struggling.
Last month, the Mount Si PTSA sponsored a suicide prevention parent training workshop called LEARN, created by Forefront – a collaboration of the University of Washington’s Schools of Social Work, Communication, Nursing and Education – whose goal is to reduce the suicide rate in Washington State by twenty percent by 2020 through innovative approaches to suicide prevention.
One of the hardest [and scariest] things to do for parents is talking to their children about suicide – and responding if they find out their child is struggling. BUT, it can be lifesaving.
LEARN is designed to help parents with important steps: LOOK for warning signs, EMPATHIZE and listen, ASK directly, REMOVE the means, and NEXT level of care.
The March event was so well attended that the MSHS PTSA is bringing the training back this week – on Wednesday, April 20th at 6:30PM at the Mount Si High School Freshman Campus. [The program is for parents.]
Suicide touched our family in the past, having watched my child struggle with losing a friend. I found the training extremely valuable, coming away feeling more educated and prepared.
I am grateful the PTSA brought this new program to our community.