Linkages is a newsletter for professionals who work with children who have ongoing health conditions or disabilities.

Mental and Behavioral Health Continuing Ed Videos:


“Although most suicides can be prevented, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Washington youth.”**

Did you know that in Washington:

  • 10 percent of 10th graders reported they had attempted suicide in the past year?
  • About 15 percent of 10th graders reported that they have no adults to turn to when they feel sad or hopeless?

Read more facts about depressive feelings and suicide in Washington teens.


What Can I Do to Prevent Teen Suicide?

1. Know the signs of depression in children and youth.

2. Watch for warning signs of suicidal thinking

  • Previous suicide attempts, talk of suicide, or making a plan.
  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Expressions of hopelessness, helplessness or anger at oneself or the world.
  • Themes of death or depression in conversation, texting, writing, reading or art.
  • Statements of not being missed if dead.
  • Recent loss of a friend, family member or parent, through death or divorce.
  • Alcohol or other drug use.
  • Chronic headaches, stomachaches, fatigue.

3. Learn about risk and protective factors for youth suicide.

4. Show you care:

  • Often, suicidal thinking comes from a wish to end deep psychological pain. Death seems like the only way out, but it isn’t.
  • Let the person know you really care. Talk about your feelings and ask about theirs.
  • Listen carefully to what they have to say.

5. Ask the question, “Are you thinking about suicide?”

  • Don’t hesitate to raise the subject. Talking with young people about suicide won’t put the idea in their heads.
  • Be direct in a caring way. Ask if they are thinking about suicide, if they really want to die, or if they simply want their problems to go away.
  • Learn more about preventing youth suicide at


Get help:

Resources for help during a crisis, and referrals to services:

  • The Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK(8225)
  • The Trevor Project Lifeline for LGBTQ concerns: 1-866-488-7386
  • The Washington Recovery Help Line: 1-866-789-1511
**“Facts About Depressive Feelings and Suicide,” Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. Washington State Department of Health, 2014.


When a child or teen needs a mental health assessment:

All children and youth with Medicaid can get a mental health assessment through a community mental health agency and can receive other needed services. To find a service location, call the Behavioral Health Organization that serves your county. If you live in Clark or Skamania county, you will not have a BHO to administer their behavioral health services. In these counties, the Apple Health plans will contract for services. You should contact your Apple Health plan directly to request treatment. For more information, call Apple Health Customer Service at 1-800-562-3022.

Disclaimer: The inclusion of any resource or website in Linkages does not imply endorsement.
Produced by the Center for Children with Special Needs, a program of Seattle Children’s with support from the Washington State Department of Health, Children with Special Health Care Needs Program.
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