Teen suicide is a dark issue, one that can be difficult for family members and loved ones to comprehend. It’s also a problem that experts say can shrink when light is shined upon it.
Shining a light is what Sno-Isle Libraries hopes to do in hosting a series of four public forums about the causes, scope and prevention of teen suicide in Snohomish and Island counties. The events are part of Sno-Isle Libraries’ “Issues That Matter” initiative designed to encourage conversations on topics that impact the community.
The events are scheduled for:
June 23, Snohomish Library, 311 Maple Ave., Snohomish
July 7, Stanwood Camano Community Resource Center, 9612 271st St. NW, Stanwood
July 13, Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave., Mukilteo
July 21, Oak Harbor Library, 1000 SE Regatta Dr., Oak Harbor
All events will start at 6:30 p.m. They are open are to the public and free, with funding provided by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. The forums will feature panels of panel of experts and community members to discuss what can be done about teen suicide.
One of those panelists will be Rena Fitzgerald, program manager for Care Crisis Chat run by Volunteers of America – Western Washington. “The suicide rate in Snohomish County is just about the highest it’s ever been. It’s more than a public health problem, it’s a crisis,” Fitzgerald said earlier this year.
Another participant will be Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. In June 2015, the Snohomish Health District released figures showing 13 young people had taken their own lives since September, 2014, more than double the annual number of previous years.
A 2014 survey of 11,852, sixth-, eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders in Snohomish County found significant numbers of students – from 16-21 percent depending on grade level – had seriously considered suicide. Nearly one in five surveyed students reported they did not have a parent or trusted adult that they feel comfortable confiding in for asking for help.
For more information Jim Hills, Public Information Manager, 360-651-7050, firstname.lastname@example.org