Below is a list of resources and frequently asked questions.  Please contact us with any questions or for an additional information.

Quick Reference Phone Numbers

  • Pierce Co Crisis: (800) 576-7764 for For a non-life threatening but urgent behavioral health crisis.  More information at:
  • Call 911 for Police, Fire, Life threatening, Medical emergency, or Dangerous activity
  • Call (253) 798-4721 for Non-Emergency – Suspicious activity, crimes that are not currently in progress.
  • Call (253) 798-4636 for code enforcement reports such as junk vehicles, solid waste, or overgrown vegetation. Report online at
  • Call (253) 798-7537 for Drug Activity
  • Call (253) 272-6824 for questions about Safe Streets, Safe Streets groups, or about home exterior security (CPTED) assessments
  • Call (253) 432-4948 to reach the Safe Streets Key Peninsula office.

Survivors of Suicide

We host a “Survivors of Suicide” Support Group that meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month, both in-person and with Zoom access. We also offer one-on-one sessions per individual requests.

Meeting Location: Heron’s Key
4340 Borgen Blvd.
Gig Harbor 98332
9:00 am

or contact us for Zoom link for virtual meetings.


safeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone 15 or older, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.  Please use our contact form for more information or to schedule a training.

Over the course of their training, safeTALK participants will learn to:

  • Notice and respond to situations where suicidal thoughts might be present
  • Recognize that invitations for help are often overlooked
  • Move beyond the common tendency to miss, dismiss, and avoid suicide
  • Apply the TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe
  • Know community resources and how to connect someone with thoughts of suicide to them for further help

Training Features:

  •  Work at your own pace through training on the LivingWorks website
  • Access to local support from a community resource individual
  • Real life scenarios

Olalla Recovery Center

Olalla Recovery Centers has been providing substance use disorder services since 1969 in the Puget Sound community. We offer an inpatient/residential treatment program in Olalla for adults, and in Gig Harbor, we offer outpatient treatment for both adults & youth. Both locations are certified by Washington State and Nationally Accredited by CARF, the Rehabilitation Commission. Our clinical team is highly skilled and licensed with the State of Washington’s Department of Health, including some dually credentialed clinicians.

We tailor treatment programs to meet unique individual needs. Services are provided in a manner that is sensitive to all community members and supportive to special populations such as ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with intellectual, physical or developmental disabilities, individuals who have special medical diagnoses, pregnant or parenting, individuals experiencing homelessness or other socio-economic disparities. We recognize the resiliency of individuals embarking on their own journey of recovery and work with them to identify and embrace their own unique recovery path.

We are here to help – please call us at: (800) 882-6201 or visit our website at:

Key Free Clinic

Our focus is on non-emergency medical issues. We will also help with referrals for patients needing ongoing, long term medical care. We are able to write orders for diagnostic testing, x-rays as well as prescription medication.

The clinic is staffed by dedicated volunteers including physicians, nursing staff and administrative staff.

Office (in the Library Building)
8903 Key Peninsula HWY NW
Lakebay, WA  98349

Please call at: (253) 358-5436 or visit our website at: 

Speaking of Suicide

Speaking of Suicide is a a public service website designed solely to share information and education about suicide and depression run by Stacey Freedenthal.

Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, is the author of the book Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals. Dr. Freedenthal also is an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, and a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice. 

Visit the website at:

Suicide Awareness Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve complied a list of some the most-asked questions around suicide.  Knowledge is a powerful tool, and we encourage everyone to explore the information below, or contact us directly if you have further questions.

What is suicide?

Suicide is when people harm themselves with the goal of ending their life, and they die as a result.

A suicide attempt is when people harm themselves with the goal of ending their life, but they do not die.

Avoid using terms such as “committing suicide,” “successful suicide,” or “failed suicide” when referring to suicide and suicide attempts, as these terms often carry negative meanings.

Who is at risk for suicide?

People of all genders, ages, and ethnicity can be at risk for suicide.

The main risk factors for suicide are:

  • A history of suicide attempts
  • Depression, other mental disorders, or substance use disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Family history of a mental disorder or substance use
  • Family history of suicide
  • Exposure to family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Presence of guns or other firearms in the home
  • Having recently been released from prison or jail
  • Exposure, either directly or indirectly, to others’ suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or celebrities

Most people who have risk factors for suicide will not attempt suicide, and it is difficult to tell who will act on suicidal thoughts. Although risk factors for suicide are important to keep in mind, someone who is showing warning signs of suicide may be at higher risk for danger and need immediate attention.

Stressful life events (such as the loss of a loved one, legal troubles, or financial difficulties) and interpersonal stressors (such as shame, harassment, bullying, discrimination, or relationship troubles) may contribute to suicide risk, especially when they occur along with suicide risk factors.

What are the warning signs of suicide?

Warning signs that someone may be at immediate risk for attempting suicide include:

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty or hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable emotional or physical pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, such as making a will
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often

Other serious warning signs that someone may be at risk for attempting suicide include:


  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Making a plan or looking for ways to kill themselves, such as searching for lethal methods online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling great guilt or shame
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Changing eating or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

Does asking someone about suicide put the idea in their head?

 No. Studies have shown that asking people about suicidal thoughts and behaviors does not cause or increase such thoughts. Asking someone directly, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” can be the best way to identify someone at risk for suicide.

Do certain groups of people have higher rates of suicide?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are more likely to attempt suicide than men, but men are more likely to die by suicide than women. This may be because men are more likely to attempt suicide using very lethal methods, such as firearm or suffocation (e.g., hanging), and women are more likely to attempt suicide by poisoning, including overdosing on prescribed or unprescribed prescription drugs. However, recent CDC data suggest that the leading means of suicide for women may be shifting toward more lethal methods.

CDC data also show that suicide rates vary by race, ethnicity, age, and gender. American Indian and Alaska Native men have the highest rates of suicide, followed by non-Hispanic White males.

Although the rate of suicide death among preteens and younger teens is lower than that of older adolescents and adults, it has increased over time. Suicide now ranks as the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 14. For children under age 12, research indicates that Black children have a higher rate of suicide death than White children.

NOTE: After steadily increasing for many years, the overall suicide rate decreased slightly from 2018 to 2019. You can learn more about this finding on the CDC website. Researchers are examining whether this decrease occurred across different racial, ethnic, gender, and age groups, and whether it will continue over time.

Looking for more data and statistics? For the most recent statistics on suicide and more information about suicide risk, please visit the CDC suicide prevention page and the NIMH suicide statistics page.

What should I do if I am in crisis or someone I know is considering suicide?

Effective, evidence-based interventions are available to help people who are at risk for suicide:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of psychotherapy that can help people learn new ways of dealing with stressful experiences. CBT helps people learn to recognize their thought patterns and consider alternative actions when thoughts of suicide arise.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of psychotherapy that has been shown to reduce suicidal behavior in adolescents. DBT also has been shown to reduce the rate of suicide attempts in adults with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness characterized by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior that often results in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. A therapist trained in DBT can help a person recognize when their feelings or actions are disruptive or unhealthy and teach the person skills that can help them cope more effectively with upsetting situations.
  • Brief Intervention Strategies: Research has shown that creating a safety plan or crisis response plan—with specific instructions for what to do and how to get help when having thoughts about suicide—can help reduce a person’s risk of acting on suicidal thoughts. Staying connected and following up with people who are at risk for suicide also has been shown to help lower the risk of future suicide attempts. Research also has shown that increasing safe storage of lethal means can help reduce suicide attempts and deaths by suicide. In addition, collaborative assessment and management of suicidality can help to reduce suicidal thoughts.
  • Collaborative Care: Collaborative care is a team-based approach to mental health care. A behavioral health care manager will work with the person, their primary health care provider, and mental health specialists to develop a treatment plan. Collaborative care has been shown to be an effective way to treat depression and reduce suicidal thoughts.

What should I do if I am in crisis or someone I know is considering suicide?

If you notice warning signs of suicide—especially a change in behavior or new, concerning behavior—get help as soon as possible.

Family and friends are often the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide, and they can take the first step toward helping a loved one find mental health treatment.

If someone tells you that they are going to kill themselves, do not leave them alone. Do not promise that you will keep their suicidal thoughts a secret—tell a trusted friend, family member, or other trusted adult.

Call 911 if there is immediate danger, or go to the nearest emergency room.

In a crisis, you also can contact:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En español 1-888-628-9454
The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Lifeline connects people to the nearest crisis center that provides crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741
The Crisis Text Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This confidential service helps anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

What if I see suicidal messages on social media?

Knowing how to get help when someone posts suicidal messages can help save a life. Many social media sites have a process to get help for the person posting the message.

If you see messages or live streaming content that suggests someone is actively engaging in suicidal behavior, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255).

How can I find help?

If you have thoughts of suicide, tell your health care provider. Your health care provider will listen to your concerns and can help you figure out next steps. Read NIMH’s Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider to help you prepare to talk to your doctor about mental health concerns.

To find mental health treatment services in your area, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or use the SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator.

Where can I learn about NIMH research on suicidE?

NIMH supports promising research that is likely to have an impact on reducing suicide in the United States. Research is helping improve our ability to identify people at risk for suicide and to develop and improve effective treatments. NIMH researchers continue to study suicide and how to best implement suicide prevention and intervention programs in different settings, including health care, community, school, and the justice system.

Learn more about NIMH research priorities and recent research on suicide prevention.

For additional information about suicide prevention efforts, visit the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.