You’re Not Alone: Suicide warning signs and how you can help - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

You’re Not Alone: Suicide warning signs and how you can help

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Suicide is a difficult topic for many to discuss, but right now there's a sense of urgency to talk about it.

In the past week, two teens in Spokane County have taken their lives and police in North Idaho say it might also have happened there.

One of the big problems is a lack of mental health workers.

In fact, when someone attempts to commit suicide, facilities are supposed to hold them for 72 hours. But because there aren't enough beds, hospitals have to turn people away.

KHQ Local News Reporter Joe McHale spoke with someone who is dedicating her life to suicide prevention and shows us, no matter how often you feel this way you are not alone.

“It's a very complicated issue,” said Sabrina Votava. “And like anything that's difficult, we want to avoid it.”

Votava has dedicated the last decade of her life bringing awareness to the topic no one wants to talk about: Suicide and the devastating effect is has on so many lives.

“When somebody is struggling with something like this it may be their deepest darkest secret,” said Votava. “And they don't know how you're going to handle it if they told you, so they'll keep it to themselves.”

It's a dark reality Votava wants to shed light on.

In Washington state alone, someone takes their own life every eight hours. And according to the Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 14.

But for Votava the issue is much more than a statistic.

“I lost two of my brothers to suicide about six months apart when I was a freshman in college,” said Votava. “They were 22 and 23-years-old. I didn’t know what it looked like or what it was, so part of my healing was to do research to understand and I needed to understand.”

Votava’s grief and need to understand paved the way for her career. Now, Votava educates people about the warning signs of depression and suicidal thoughts.

“One way I remember some of the warning signs is the acronym ‘The FACTS.’ How are they feeling? How are they acting? Have you seen changes? Have they made threats? And what is their situation like?”

Votava says being aware is only the first step to getting someone help, but the best and most immediate thing you can do is listen.

“That can be a really hard thing to deal with,” said Votava. “And so our immediate reaction is to say we want to fix it, or we want to get you resources, or help, but take a deep breath and let them talk.”

For more information about resources that are available for people struggling with suicidal thoughts, click here.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Deer Park homeowner tied up, robbed at gunpoint; deputies search for suspects

    Deer Park homeowner tied up, robbed at gunpoint; deputies search for suspects

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:22 AM EST2018-02-22 13:22:31 GMT

    DEER PARK, Wash. - The Sevens County Sheriff's Office is requesting the public's help in identifying the suspects and a vehicle in a recent home invasion robbery. Deputies report that on February 12 around 6:45, they responded to a report of a robbery that took place on McKenzie Woolard Rd. in the Deer Park area. Two men and a women forced their way into the victim's home at gunpoint, tied the victim up, and stole numerous items including guns and the victim's debit card.

    >>

    DEER PARK, Wash. - The Sevens County Sheriff's Office is requesting the public's help in identifying the suspects and a vehicle in a recent home invasion robbery. Deputies report that on February 12 around 6:45, they responded to a report of a robbery that took place on McKenzie Woolard Rd. in the Deer Park area. Two men and a women forced their way into the victim's home at gunpoint, tied the victim up, and stole numerous items including guns and the victim's debit card.

    >>
  • Canadian medal winner takes off silver medal right after it's put on her neck

    Canadian medal winner takes off silver medal right after it's put on her neck

    Thursday, February 22 2018 9:36 AM EST2018-02-22 14:36:11 GMT

    KHQ.COM - The Canadian women's hockey team wept on the ice as they accepted their silver medals after losing to the Americans at the Pyeongchang Olympics.   One Canadian player, Jocelyne Larocque, took her medal off immediately and held it in her hands as the Americans stood nearby awaiting their gold Thursday.   Larocque says, "It's just so hard."

    >>

    KHQ.COM - The Canadian women's hockey team wept on the ice as they accepted their silver medals after losing to the Americans at the Pyeongchang Olympics.   One Canadian player, Jocelyne Larocque, took her medal off immediately and held it in her hands as the Americans stood nearby awaiting their gold Thursday.   Larocque says, "It's just so hard."

    >>
  • Severed foot found on beach belonged to Washington man

    Severed foot found on beach belonged to Washington man

    Thursday, February 22 2018 3:25 PM EST2018-02-22 20:25:19 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - Authorities say a severed foot in a running shoe found on a Vancouver Island beach belonged to a Washington man. The Seattle Times reports Kitsap County authorities reported 79-year-old Stanley Okumoto missing Sept. 19. His partial remains were found in November along a beach near Neah Bay, about a mile from where his car was found by authorities.

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - Authorities say a severed foot in a running shoe found on a Vancouver Island beach belonged to a Washington man. The Seattle Times reports Kitsap County authorities reported 79-year-old Stanley Okumoto missing Sept. 19. His partial remains were found in November along a beach near Neah Bay, about a mile from where his car was found by authorities.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Sheriff: Florida deputy never entered school in shooting

    Sheriff: Florida deputy never entered school in shooting

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:45 PM EST2018-02-23 01:45:13 GMT
    AP PhotoAP Photo
    AP PhotoAP Photo

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on the deadly Florida school shooting (all times local):  5:40 p.m. A Florida sheriff says the deputy who was on duty at a high school where 17 people were massacred waited outside the building for about four minutes without ever going in. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced during a Thursday news conference that Deputy Scot Peterson resigned after being suspended without pay. Israel said he made the decisi...

    >>

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Latest on the deadly Florida school shooting (all times local):  5:40 p.m. A Florida sheriff says the deputy who was on duty at a high school where 17 people were massacred waited outside the building for about four minutes without ever going in. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced during a Thursday news conference that Deputy Scot Peterson resigned after being suspended without pay. Israel said he made the decisi...

    >>
  • Spokane officials push for bill to reduce property crime and auto thefts in Spokane

    Spokane officials push for bill to reduce property crime and auto thefts in Spokane

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:43 PM EST2018-02-23 01:43:27 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. On Monday, city and county officials traveled to Olympia to push for Senate Bill 5539. Bill 5539, would establish a pilot program for the supervision of those who are convicted of felonies relating to car theft, after being released from prison. Spokane County has the some of highest recorded numbers of property crimes in the country. Spokane comes nearly dead last as one of Washington States least safest cities "If you were to ask any officer working 

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. On Monday, city and county officials traveled to Olympia to push for Senate Bill 5539. Bill 5539, would establish a pilot program for the supervision of those who are convicted of felonies relating to car theft, after being released from prison. Spokane County has the some of highest recorded numbers of property crimes in the country. Spokane comes nearly dead last as one of Washington States least safest cities "If you were to ask any officer working 

    >>
  • Spokane woman finds baby left in freezing car

    Spokane woman finds baby left in freezing car

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:33 PM EST2018-02-23 01:33:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Picture this, a baby freezing, bawling, and alone in the back seat of a car. That's what one Spokane woman stumbled upon in a South Hill parking lot. "Complete shock," Windy Delandro said. A frightening sight, Delandro says she saw what looked like a six-month old sitting in her car seat, car turned off, tears streaming down the little girls cheeks. "I looked around to see if I could find anybody, see something, I told my mom 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Picture this, a baby freezing, bawling, and alone in the back seat of a car. That's what one Spokane woman stumbled upon in a South Hill parking lot. "Complete shock," Windy Delandro said. A frightening sight, Delandro says she saw what looked like a six-month old sitting in her car seat, car turned off, tears streaming down the little girls cheeks. "I looked around to see if I could find anybody, see something, I told my mom 

    >>