Suicide Prevention

If you are having a mental health emergency, call our crisis line at 503-655-8585.

Help is here

Email Galli Murray, Clackamas County Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator, at gallimur@clackamas.us to receive updates about trainings, suicide prevention resources and opportunities for youth and adult community involvement.

What we know about suicide

  • On average, there are 121 deaths each day from suicide in the United States. For every death by suicide, 25 attempts occur.
  • On average, 2 Oregonians die every day by suicide. Oregon's rate of suicide has been higher than the national rate for 3 decades.
  • There is 1 death by suicide every 5 days in Clackamas County. Clackamas County has a 16 percent higher rate of suicide than that of the national rate.

Warning signs

There are almost always warning signs when someone is thinking about suicide. Here are a few ways to identify if someone you care about is at risk.

If a person talks about:

  • being a burden to others
  • feeling trapped
  • experiencing unbearable pain
  • having no reason to live
  • killing themselves

Specific behaviors to look out for include:

  • increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • acting recklessly
  • withdrawing from activities or isolating from family and friends
  • fatigue and/or aggression
  • calling people to say goodbye
  • giving away possessions

People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • depression and/or anxiety
  • loss of interest
  • rage
  • irritability
  • humiliation

Youth suicide

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death nationally among youth ages 10 to 24. There are many risk factors for youth suicide, including:

  • youth who have lost a loved one or someone close to them to suicide
  • youth who identify as LGBTQI
  • youth who have a substance use or mental health disorder
  • youth who lack positive peer, family or other supportive relationships
  • those who are bullied and those who bully
  • youth involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems

You've got what it takes!

We have made a commitment to being intentional about the work of suicide prevention. Everyone can play a role in suicide prevention, it is no longer the sole responsibility of behavioral health professionals. Join us by learning the facts, taking a training, or starting a conversation with someone who might be struggling.

You don't need to be an expert - just a good listener. If you notice someone who might be struggling - start a conversation. And if all is well, that person will know you're someone who cares enough to ask. Asking, "Are you okay?" can change lives.

13 Reasons Why

With the release of season two of the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, there is an opportunity to have important conversations with our youth about mental health and suicide prevention. The series tells a fictional story of a teenage girl who leaves behind 13 audio recordings after taking her life.

Concerns about the first season included:

  • The series producers did not consult suicide prevention experts
  • It addressed many difficult topics, such as suicide, bullying, rape and drunk driving without referring people to resources for help.
  • The series depicted a graphic suicide death, which can affect people at high suicide risk.
  • Many parents were not aware that the show contained very mature topics and graphic content.

Youth may re-watch season one or see it for the first time based on interest generated by the season two release. While many are capable of differentiating between a TV drama and real life, engaging in thoughtful conversation about this show is vital.

Remember:

  • Talking about suicide will not make someone more suicidal or put the idea of suicide in their mind.
  • There’s nothing shameful about having suicidal thoughts – remind youth that they can talk to you and get support if they’re feeling hopeless.
  • If you are concerned about someone, ask them “Are you okay?” Be direct. By starting a conversation about the changes you’ve noticed, you could help that person open up.
  • Having a mental health challenge is part of our whole health package. With the right help, people can and do recover.

If the show sparked the first conversation you had with your family about suicide, don’t let it be your last.

Resources to Read Before Having These Discussions

Help is Here

Clackamas County Crisis Line: 503-655-8585

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Oregon Youthline: Call: 877-968-8491, Text: teen2teen to 839863, Chat: online, Email: youthL@linesforlife.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741.

The Trevor Project Suicide Prevention Lifeline for LGBTQ youth: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)