City of Spokane creates suicide prevention task force - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City of Spokane creates suicide prevention task force

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

With the topic of depression and suicide being discussed more and more lately, the city of Spokane has come up a new way to address the issue of mental health in the community. 

On Tuesday night the city's Human Rights Commission created a Suicide Prevention Task Force to talk about the topic most people don't want to. The group will include mental health officials, first responders, and city and community leaders.

The man behind the idea, John Lemus, has been working on the subject for the last three years. The group will work for the next year on solutions to eventually recommend to the city.

A medical examiner's study study on deaths in Spokane County from 2010 to 2016 shows a disturbing trend. Not only were the number of suicides up, but there were more and more young men, between the ages of 20 and 29 years old taking their own lives.

"We have the data, we know that it's needed,  and now's the time to get to work," Lemus said.

The group is hoping to request legislative funding from the state next year for their work so they can tackle an issue they believe has been ignored for far too long.

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