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Community as Lifelines, Preventing Suicide

Lidia Harding
Blog For parents Giving
Ian lost his life to suicide

“Ian was the most self-assured, confident, lovely 14-year-old. I was the luckiest mom for the 14 years we had him. Losing a child to suicide, it’s just so hard to breathe,” said Stacie, who lost her son to suicide six years ago.

Youth suicide is a devastating and alarming issue affecting communities worldwide. The loss of young lives due to suicide has profound and long-lasting impacts on families, friends, and society. However, amid this crisis, there is hope in our community, which is stepping up to make a difference. Community support has been crucial in preventing youth suicide, offering a lifeline to those in need.

What your support is providing

One of the primary ways our community is making an impact in preventing youth suicide is by providing financial support to fund mental health and treatment programs like ours at YES. These programs play a critical role in identifying and addressing the underlying issues contributing to suicidal thoughts and behaviors among young people. By funding counseling services, therapy sessions, and mental health awareness campaigns, our community enables us to reach out to at-risk youth and provide them with the help they desperately need.

Being where the kids are

You’re helping address the need for accessible mental health support by providing safe spaces throughout the community which serve young people who can’t travel to a local organization to access mental health services. YES provides mental health and substance use services where kids are, throughout the East King County community, in Lake Washington and Bellevue schools and local teen/community centers.

Providing these educational programs and mental health services within the community, we’re helping reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and promote early intervention. Empowering young people with the knowledge and tools to recognize the signs of distress in themselves and their peers, ensuring they know where to seek help before the issues become critical.

“I really think it’s important for kids to understand the services that Youth Eastside Services provides. Because as a 14-year-old, if Ian had known about it but was afraid of talking to me or his dad, this could be a place for him to come and say, ‘Hey, I don’t want to tell my family, but I know I don’t want to feel this way anymore,” said Stacie.

It takes a village

Many of our supporters have acted as catalysts for collaborations and partnerships to prevent youth suicide. By bringing together mental health professionals, educators, community organizations, and policymakers, we’re all working together to tackle this issue. We share resources, expertise, and best practices, leading to more impactful solutions.

That’s where you come in

No parent should ever have to go through the experience Stacie had. No child should ever think suicide is their only option.

Youth suicide is a tragic and complex issue, but with your support for behavioral health organizations like ours, we are witnessing a growing movement to prevent these devastating losses. Thanks to the ongoing support of our community, increased access to support from professionals, education programs, and collaborations are making a tangible difference in the lives of young people.

However, the effort is far from over, and continued support is crucial. Together, we can create a world where every young person feels heard, supported, and valued, ultimately reducing the incidence of youth suicide and building a brighter future for generations to come.

Watch Stacie and others share their experience with youth suicide and what we can do to help in the video below.

Giving children, youth, and families access to mental health and substance use services is possible through the generosity of community members like you. Please consider making a gift today to provide children, youth, and families with programs that support their mental health and recovery.

Thanks to donations like yours, no family is turned away because they can’t afford to pay for services.

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