suicide

Portland and Spokane have been trying to prevent people from jumping off the cities' iconic bridges. In the last few weeks, police in both cities have responded to suicides or attempted suicides.

More people now die of suicide than in car accidents. In 2010, 38,364 suicide deaths were reported in the United States. Many say suicide is still underreported. September is suicide prevention awareness month and today The Record is taking a look at Seattle's Crisis Clinic, where volunteers staff a 24-hour crisis line. They take calls from people thinking about suicide and others who need help. Ross Reynolds talks with Crisis Clinic's director of crisis services, Michael Reading.

Why Are More People Committing Suicide In The US?

May 6, 2013

A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that suicide deaths have surpassed car deaths in the United States. According to the same report, suicide rates rose 15% from 1999 to 2010, with an even more dramatic rise among the 35-64 age group. Washington state has seen similar increases. Ross Reynolds speaks with Dr. Thomas Simon, a researcher at the CDC’s Injury Center in Atlanta about why the suicide rate is growing.

Breaking The Silence Around Suicide

Jan 9, 2013
Courtesy Kim Stafford

Editors' Note: This story contains descriptions of suicide. If you or someone you know might be suicidal, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8255 (800.273.TALK).  Support groups and grief counseling for survivors can be found throughout the Puget Sound region.

Portland writer Kim Stafford has struggled to make sense out of the suicide of his brother Bret for 25 years. Though Bret was just 14 months older, Kim always looked to his brother as a leader and teacher. When he shot himself at age 40 in 1988, nobody in Bret’s family knew how much he was struggling.

Members of the Stafford family, even their father and famous poet William Stafford, couldn’t bring themselves to speak or write about Bret's loss. It was largely up to Kim Stafford to break the family silence.  Kim’s new memoir, “100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do:  How My Brother Disappeared,” is the story of his brother’s life and death and its devastating and transformational effect on Kim and his family.

US Army

Suicide is now the number one cause of death for US troops. Nationally, more than two-thirds of suicides of active duty troops involve firearms. Most are personal weapons.

Former vice chief of staff for the Army General Peter Chiarelli wants commanders to have the ability to talk to distressed troop members about their private weapons as part of an effort to reverse the trend.

The main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash.
John Ryan / KUOW

Editors' Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of suicide. If you or someone you know might be suicidal, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8255 (800.273.TALK).

Western State Hospital in Lakewood is the largest psychiatric institution in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission statement says the hospital:

Megan Templeton sitting outside
Suzanne Kuhns

Editors' Note: This story contains graphic descriptions of suicide. If you or someone you know might be suicidal, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.8255 (800.273.TALK).

In the past decade, a dozen Western State Hospital patients have killed themselves. More than a hundred others have tried.  Megan Templeton was the most recent. In April, she hanged herself in her hospital room. She had turned 20 the day before.

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