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Thurston County, Washington

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Public Health and Social Services

DID YOU KNOW THAT suicide is the second leading cause of death for Washington teens 15-19 years old?

Many people are uncomfortable talking about suicide. However, talking about suicide does not increase the risk that someone will attempt suicide. 

If you or anyone you know needs help NOW (available 24/7) call or text, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 

988 suicide and crisis lifeline

Warning Signs for Suicide 

  • Current talk of suicide or making a plan.
  • Signs of depression, such as moodiness, hopelessness, and withdrawal.
  • Strong wish to die or preoccupation with death.
  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Increased alcohol and/or drug use.
  • Hinting at not being around in the future or saying goodbye.

Question, Persuade, Refer Training Request Form

Young men talking

Start the Conversation


Show you care by listening carefully to what they have to say.

"I'm worried about you, I care about how you feel."
"You mean a lot to me. I want to help."
"I'm here if you need someone to talk to."


Ask the hard questions. Be direct and specific to get the conversation started.

"Are you thinking about suicide?"
"Do you have a plan to kill yourself?"


Never keep talk of suicide a secret, even if you are asked to. It's better to risk a friendship than a life. Do not try to handle the situation on your own. You can be the most help by getting them help.

"I know where we can get some help."
"Let's talk to someone who can help - now."

How to Help: 

The Suicide Lifeline is here for everyone

Never dismiss what your loved one is saying. If someone you care about talks or jokes about suicide, believe they're hurting, and give them support. Listen with empathy and provide support. A fight or breakup might not seem like a big deal, but for a young person, it can feel immense. Empathize and listen. Don't minimize their feelings, it can affect how they reach out for support in the future. 
Learn the warning signs. Friends sometimes let friends know if they are thinking about suicide or dying. Other times, changes in behavior may show that someone is struggling.  Don't keep suicide a secret. If someone you know is considering suicide, don't promise to keep it a secret. Tell them how you can help, but that you need to involve other people, like a trusted adult. Neither of you have to face this alone. 



Additional Resources

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Washington teens 15-19 years old (WA DOH) 

We R Native
  • AAKOMA Project; Building the consciousness of intersectional Youth and Young Adults of Color and their caregivers on the recognition and importance of mental health
  • Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation; Embracing ancestral roots, celebrating cultural heritage, cultivating self-love, prioritizing self-care, fostering community connections, embracing creative expression, promoting mental health education
  • Therapy for Black Girls; Online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls
  • Therapy for Black Men; Provides proactive, multiculturally competent care to men of color
  • The Trevor Project; Provides information & support to LGBTQ+ 
young people 
  • Stonewall Youth; Local to Thurston County, Stonewall Youth gives support to LGBTQIA2S+ youth provided by peers
  • Transfamilies; Transfamilies provide resources to families and those who love/support young people who are going through a gender transition or are gender-diverse
  • It gets better; Organization with a mission to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe 
  • Pizza Klatch; Local to Thurston County, Pizza Klatch fosters resilience in LGBTQI+ youth to create a safe & positive school experience through support, education & empowerment
  • We R Native; Providing information and resources on how to build mental resilience, understand mental health challenges, and receive support for LGBTQ+ individuals

The following are 24/7, free and confidential. If someone is an IMMEDIATE harm to self or others, do not wait call 911.



Distress Helpline

988 National Suicide and Crisis Hotline 

The Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) is a collaborative effort of the Health Care Authority. This survey is administered to students in grades 6-12th across the state.

The HYS invites youth in Washington state to share about their well-being, behaviors, attitudes, community and school experiences, and more. The 2023 survey was the 18th statewide survey of Washington students and the 11th iteration of the HYS. Participation has been steadily increasing over time. In 2023, over 215,000 students from all 39 counties participated in HYS.  

Thurston County HYS 2023 Fact Sheets

Please contact us at (360) 867-2500 or email if you would like educational materials or additional support. This email is not monitored 24/7, if you are in need of immediate help, please call 911 or the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.