In our state, an average of two young people under 25 die by suicide every week and as many as one out of five students have seriously considered suicide in the last year. One in five 10 graders acknowledged on the 2012 Healthy Youth Survey that they had used an illegal drug in the last 30 days and about one in four had consumed alcohol in the last 30 days. One in twelve 10 graders reported a physical fight on school property in the last month and one in three 6 graders reported being bullied on school property in the last 30 days. About a third of Washington students report signs of depression within the last year. All of these problems have a greater impact among more vulnerable populations of students, such as those experiencing poverty, contact with the child welfare system, and identity-based discrimination. These issues have a serious impact on students and families in schools and communities across the state of Washington.
Walla Walla Public Schools recognizes the school plays a unique and important role in the prevention of youth suicide, violence, and substance abuse and in the identification and treatment of mental health disorders in our community. Walla Walla Public Schools has developed a plan aimed at prevention, support for students experiencing emotional and behavioral distress and supporting school communities after a student’s death. This plan is shared with staff and is reviewed and updated annually.
WWPS Suicide Prevention Policy
WWPS Suicide Prevention Procedures
Suicidal Warning Signs
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
Source: Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Suicide Reporting Process
Crisis Response Resources:
- Emergency Response: 911
- SafeSchools Alerts Tip Line (pdf)
- Local Crisis Hotline: (509) 524-2999
- Crisis Text Line: 741741
- National LifeLine: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
- Comprehensive Mental Health Center (Walla Walla): (509) 524-2920
NOTE: It is important to share information with the school principal and counselor regarding student health and well-being issues.
- Cheri Lovre, MS – Crisis Management Institute – Spring & Summer 2016
- Mark Lee – Youth Suicide Prevention Program – Benton/Franklin County Field Coordinator – 2016-2017 School Year
- Sources of Strength Suicide Prevention Program
- Walla Walla County Suicide Prevention Work Group – 2016-2017 School Year
NASP information - "13 Reasons Why"
- Washington Youth Suicide Prevention Program – (206) 297-5922
- Washington State Department of Health (360) 236-2800
- ESD 123 Prevention/Intervention Specialist: Amy Smith – firstname.lastname@example.org
- 211 System – This is an information referral service. It assists with providing resources in our community.
- What Every Teacher Should Know About Preventing Youth Suicide (pdf)