Suicide Awareness

Neesha Schrom Crosen/SPR

When news broke about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, I was stunned. I’ve admired Bourdain, watched his TV shows, even chafed a bit at some of his messages. His decision to end his own life didn’t surprise me, given the aura of independence he gave off. But it certainly got my attention.

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SPR's 2017 Health Forum: Suicide Awareness was recorded in front of an audience. SPR’s panel of experts discussed several topics about suicide, mental health, and Washington state’s Death with Dignity Act.

Additional resources, including crisis hotlines

Read reports on Suicide from SPR, Northwest News Network, and NPR

Geniussquared.com

Wednesday night at Spokane City Hall, Spokane Public Radio held its annual health forum, this year focusing on suicide awareness. Reporter Steve Jackson assembled a panel of guests, including mental health specialists, the chief of the Post Falls Police Department and a board member from the group End of Life Washington.

Inland Journal, March 23, 2017

Mar 23, 2017

    ▪    Wildfires and forest health in Washington, feature plus interview with Washington state Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Okanogan County)
    ▪    Suicide awareness, a recap of SPR’s health forum with host Steve Jackson
    ▪    An interview with Spokane’s newly-ordained Episcopal Bishop, Gretchen Rehberg
    ▪    The business applications of drones, an interview with Joseph Williams from the Washington state Department of Commerce

Crisis Text & Talk Hotlines

  • 509-838-4428 to talk with “First Call for Help,” Frontier Behavioral Health's 24/7 crisis line.
  • 800-273-8255 to speak with National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7. Press 1 for Veterans line.
  • 741741 Text HOME to text 24/7 with a crisis counselor from CrisisTextLine.org.
  • 202-304-1200 Text TREVOR, specializing in LGBT issues.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

In 2014 and 2015, Washington's prison system experienced a spike in inmate suicides. During those two years 11 inmate deaths were ruled suicides, giving Washington one of the highest prison suicide rates in the country. Austin Jenkins has spent the past year investigating how this happened and how the prison system responded.

Jay Zimmerman got his first BB gun when he was 7, and his first shotgun when he was 10.

"Growing up in Appalachia, you look forward to getting your first firearm," he said, "probably more so than your first car."

His grandfather taught him to hunt squirrels and quail. Zimmerman, who lives in Elizabethton, Tenn., said pretty much everyone he knows has a gun. It's just part of the culture.

"When I went into the military, that culture was reinforced," he said. "Your weapon is almost another appendage. It's part of who you are."

A bill proposed in the Washington State senate would modify the state's Death with Dignity act.

The current law allows someone with a terminal illness to end their life. It was approved by voters in 2008. Among the requirements of the law, patients must be 18 or older, mentally competent, and certified by two physicians that they have less than six months to live. Patients also must be informed of all other options including palliative and hospice care.

Rashaan Salaam, the former college football standout whose body was found in a Boulder, Colo., park earlier this month, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the Boulder County Coroner's office.

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