The difference between suicide and self-harm is intent. A person experiencing thoughts of suicide or attempting suicide sees no other way out and wants to end his or her life. People who are contemplating suicide are likely experiencing life stressors, and possibly combined with depression, and they cannot see any other way out of their distress and suffering.

People who engage in self-harming, self-injurious behaviors do so as a way to cope with difficult emotions or stressors, without having the intent to take their own life. For some, self-infliction of pain reassures them they are still alive. For others, the pain associated with self-harm can distract them from emotional pain or traumatic memories. Self-harming behaviors can cause changes in brain chemistry. This may result in the person engaging in these behaviors in a compulsive or addictive patterns.  However, does not include tattooing or piercing, substance abuse or eating disorders.

Although self-harming behaviors are not the same as suicidal behaviors, self-harm can escalate to accidental or intentional death. One study found that almost half of people who self-harm reported at least one suicide attempt. It is critical to seek help for anyone engaging in self-harming behaviors.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals age 10-34, and there are on average of 129 suicides a day in the United States. If you suspect a friend or family member is thinking about killing themselves, ask them about it. Say something like, “I have noticed you are feeling down and upset these past few days. I am concerned about what is going in, and I am wondering if you have been thinking about killing yourself?” If they say “yes”, stay with them and contact our crisis line or call 911. 

Our Crisis Outreach Professionals can provide a brief assessment and determine what next steps should be taken to keep the person safe.

Services are provided in the following locations:

Cle Elum
402 E. First #101
Cle Elum, WA 98922
(509) 674-2340

707 N. Pearl Street Ste E
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 925-7507

707 N. Pearl Street Ste K
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 925-9861

112 West Main Street
Goldendale, WA 98620
(509) 773-5801

2715 Saint Andrews Loop, Ste C
Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 412-1051

1319 Saul Road
Sunnyside, WA 98944
(509) 837-2089 Ext 2700

Walla Walla
1520 Kelly Place
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 522-4000

Adult Residential Treatment Facility
1250 S.E. Commercial Drive
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 876-0190

White Salmon
432 N.E. Tohomish Street
White Salmon, WA 98672
(509) 493-3400

402 S. 4th Avenue
Yakima, WA 98902
(509) 575-4084

Crisis Triage Center/Sub-Acute Detox Facility
505 S. 4th Ave
Yakima, WA 98902
(509) 453-2900