Five times as many suicides as homicides in King County

If you still don’t believe that suicide is an epidemic – that it should get at least as much attention as homicide, if not more – consider this: King County is just out with its report on 2011 deaths, and the number of suicides, 265, was almost five times the number of homicides, 54. The number of accidental drug overdoses, more than 200, is also a concern. But the county says its 2011 report also shows traffic deaths and homicides on the decline. Here’s the full news release; here’s the entire report.

P.S. The county’s advice for help if you or someone you know is considering suicide: Contact the Crisis Clinic, or 866-427-4747.

16 Replies to "Five times as many suicides as homicides in King County"

  • Patrick November 15, 2012 (2:31 pm)

    And to think I almost was a statistic that could have been added to the 2010 list as I was at the very lowest of low I had ever been but thankfully many people reached out and ” caught ” me…. Suicide is not something to be taken lightly and from someone who was on the “edge ” I can tell you that having a support system to reach out to HELPS A LOT!!!

    You may think you’re alone but help is a phone call, text, e-mail, a walk to your neighbor or friends house away.

  • miws November 15, 2012 (3:25 pm)

    Patrick, I’m glad that you had that support group, and that you are still with us.


    WSB, thanks once again, for keeping this on the forefront.



  • Erin November 15, 2012 (3:49 pm)

    Thank you for sharing the crisis clinic phone number with this post.

  • D November 15, 2012 (4:18 pm)

    That statistic is shocking. Considering many of the homicides were likely a result of mental health issues too, I hope policy makers are reading this.

  • G November 15, 2012 (5:42 pm)

    This is a tragic statistic. It raises a lot of serious questions about the psychological health of this area and what is contributing to this epidemic. Spending a lot of time away from Seattle, I am struck by an almost tangible sense of anger and unhappiness when I return.

    Is this just me??

  • eak! November 15, 2012 (6:10 pm)

    Hasn’t seattle always been on the top of suicides for all cities in the US? I always assumed it was due to the weather.

  • Paul November 15, 2012 (7:44 pm)

    It’s largely in part to the psychotropic drugs and other “anti depressants”… Family ,friends ,and faith are your best bets… Look at the way big pharma pushes these drugs on children, I mean it seems like everything is a disorder! Crazy times we live in , take care of each other!

  • WTF November 15, 2012 (8:42 pm)


  • Trackguy1978 November 15, 2012 (10:47 pm)

    While family, friends, and “faith” are important pieces in a persons recovery from mental illness, psychotropic drugs are definitely needed for some individuals. It is usually the time when they are not taking their medications as prescribed or mixing them with illegal drugs when most of the crimes or suicide are committed.

  • Westcoastdeb November 16, 2012 (8:34 am)

    Paul – I beg to differ. The only thing I have found to ease my depression is anti-depressant medications, prescribed by a proper doctor.

    Sometimes, many times, it’s not just ‘in your head’. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and the like result from a chemical imbalance or brain ‘wiring’ that creates these diseases.

    The opinion that taking meds is somehow wrong leads many people down a dark and scary path. There is no shame in getting help. There is no shame in admitting that you need help. My life has been made exponentially better by taking medication daily. It does work.

    Putting kids on anti-depressants is a touchy field, yes, but I know that I could have benefited from them as far back as I can remember.

    There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer, but sometimes you cannot ‘pray’ or ‘love’ your way out of it.

    ‘Take care of each other’ – yes – but at the same time NONE OF US are to blame for the suicides of others. Sometimes (usually) taking care of one another means supporting the [healthy] choices that one another make.

    I will step off of my soap box now.


  • AJP November 16, 2012 (9:08 am)

    Debbie, you wrote everything I was going to say. Thank you.

  • Laura November 16, 2012 (9:47 am)

    The Seattle suicide capitol thing is a myth. We don’t even break the top fifteen most suicidal cities. Las Vegas is number one.

    • WSB November 16, 2012 (9:59 am)

      Thanks, Laura – I hadn’t taken time to look that up to try to truth-squad that comment. As a two-time former Las Vegas resident, I can attest to the fact that city’s atmosphere is not conducive to mental health. It also happens to be a huge, sprawling city in a place where there shouldn’t even be a city – with life support such as water pumped in from far, far away, and inhospitable summer temperatures…

  • sb in ws November 16, 2012 (9:51 am)

    Patrick, I am very glad you are still around. One life saved is important. I lost my father to suicide in 2003 and I too have suffered from depression all throughout my life. I have tried many different anti-depressants and have finally found something that works. I am a firm believer that many people should be on meds. I know a lot of my friends are and they are not ‘crazy’ but they just need a little balance.

  • Alki Lover November 16, 2012 (12:29 pm)

    Mental illness is something that effects us all in this world. It can range from situational depression due circumstances in life to someone that is taking on a life long battle. Regardless of the degree that they are dealing with no one chooses this path. Its not easy for them to recognize they need help nor is it something easy to discuss with others due to the stigma that goes along with it. More often then not they live in a world of secrecy trying to hide their inner struggles or shunned from a world that is supposed to be so loving and accepting. The reality is this is surrounding us everyday. Some people are willing to stand up for their friends, family, co-workers, lovers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and those that decide to walk away or ignore. Unfortunately or not those that walk away are the ones that are losing out on knowing someone that is still a loving, caring individual that is looking for support and acceptance in life just like we all are. I have realized that sometimes it is a lot easier to ignore the person when they walk into the room because for whatever reason if that person is “invisible” and you don’t acknowledge them it is easier to handle. But don’t you think when that happens that your avoidance, denial, or rejection if more painful to a person that is already struggling internally to feel accepted? The reality in life is we as humans want to choose the easier path, the one that is going to be less struggle and riff for ourselves but if we just learn to reach out and be there just a bit more it may save more lives than ignoring the person and their struggle.

  • G November 16, 2012 (3:33 pm)

    Seattle ranked 9th on the list of most stressful cities, based on a number of criteria, including suicide, divorce, alcoholism, traffic, etc.

    Some of those stats don’t necessarily add up to stress – for example, some divorces might be a good thing – but it’s worth noting.

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