The suicide rate for youth, ages 10-24, in Washington was eight deaths per 100,000 population, which continues to be higher than the national average of 6.9 suicides per 100,000, according to data from the 2009 Washington State Plan for Youth Suicide Prevention.
Other state statistics show:
-- On average, two youth kill themselves each week.
-- 17 youth are hospitalized each week because of a suicide attempt.
-- Twice as many youth died by suicides as compared to homicides.
-- Girls are hospitalized for attempted suicide more frequently than boys, but boys die by suicide more often by a ratio of 5 to 1.
Rates have declined since 1995 when the Washington State Plan for Youth Suicide Prevention was created, but more still needs to be done to stop youth suicides, officials said.
Dolly Fernandes, manager for the state Department of Health's injury and violence program, said the state budgeted a little more than $200,000 this year to support the Youth Suicide Prevention Program.
But money for the program is on the list of proposed cuts because of the state's budget deficit, she said. If the program is eliminated, "there would be that much less outreach and that much less education," Fernandes said.
"We're hoping that new federal money can help support some of the programs out there that do this work to continue this important work," she said.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org