Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Walla Walla County has experienced 72 deaths by suicide from 2011 to the present. The suicide rate in Washington State from 2010-2014 was 14 per 100,000, 11% higher than the national rate. The suicide rate in Walla Walla County was 15 per 100,000 for this same range of years.
Due to the increased awareness of the number of suicide incidents throughout Walla Walla County and neighboring communities, a cross-sector, cross-jurisdictional group of local leaders and concerned citizens convened to collect data, strategize, and implement suicide prevention and mental health promotion efforts throughout the Blue Mountain Region.
The Walla Walla Valley Suicide Prevention Work Group (SPWG) formed in late 2016 and meets monthly to discuss concerns, current work, and opportunities surrounding mental health resources and community connectedness. We also provide the following training opportunities for schools and businesses such as:
- Sources of Strength National Suicide Prevention Program
- Our mission is to provide the highest quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by training, supporting, and empowering both peer leaders and caring adults to impact their world through the power of connection, hope, help and strength.
- We believe that many strengths are more powerful than one, and our united goal is to activate and mobilize these strengths in ways that positively change individuals and communities.
- QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper you will learn to:
- Recognize the warning signs of suicide
- Know how to offer hope
- Know how to get help and save a life
- MHFA/YMFA - In the Mental Health First Aid or Youth Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.
- safeTALK is a training that prepares anyone 15 or older, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources, such as caregivers trained in ASIST.
- Connect Postvention Training – Developing a Suicide Postvention Response Plan
- This practical, interactive two- day training presents the Connect postvention curriculum and facilitates the creation of a comprehensive postvention plan for your community
For more information or to get involved in the Suicide Prevention Work Group or training opportunities, please contact
- Jessalyn Waring Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-524-2625
- Peggy Needham at email@example.com or 509-524-2684
For the Mental Health Crisis Line in Walla Walla call: (509) 524-2999
For more resources go to: