Recent Increase in Local Suicides - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Recent Increase in Local Suicides

KENNEWICK, Wash. - A number of recent suicides have people concerned. The Benton County Coroner said they average about 16 suicides every year.  Franklin County averages about 7 suicides a year but the coroner said he was called out three times last Wednesday. 

The Benton Franklin Crisis Center said there are many different reasons and factors surrounding suicide, but said every suicide is preventable.

Joyce Ninnemann has been working in the mental health field for 45 years.  She said she sees many people in chronic pain that do not want to go on and long term use of pain medication can make some people profoundly depressed which is a sign of suicide.

Other signs of suicide include not eating, not sleeping or giving away personal possessions.  Ninnemann said if you think someone is suicidal ask them about it and do not wait until it is too late. 

Ninnemann said, "Usually people don't want to be dead. They just want to be out of their pain. They want to escape their pain. They just can't take it anymore."

The Crisis Center treated almost 1200 people over the last six months.  The majority of them were reportedly suicidal.  The center said July and August are their busiest months.

The Benton Franklin Crisis Center is located at 2635 West Deschutes Ave. in Kennewick.  It is open 24 hours 7 days a week.  If you or someone you know needs to talk to a professional call 783-0500.