A freshman at Kennewick High School took her own life late last week, stunning the entire surrounding community once again.

Why have there been so many examples over the past number of years where Columbia Basin kids feel this is the only answer?

I'm so sad.

It was not that long ago, back in late February of this year, a young Richland boy took his life.

In 2015, there were so many suicides in the Columbia Basin, Senator Sharon Brown decided to do something about it, introducing legislation in 2017 to figure out what was wrong with the mental health care of children in our area. Brown said, “In the Tri-Cities there have been way too many suicides. One suicide is one too many. In Benton County alone in 2015 there were — just for kids between the ages of 15 to 24 — seven suicides. And in Franklin County there were four suicides.”

In that same year, if you include adults, there were 51 suicides just in the Tri-Cities.

The resulting bill, the Youth Behavioral Health Protection Act removed one of the hurdles facing doctors treating patients with potential mental health issues. Read the entire bill here.

For help, a person in need or a family member, can start by going here.

Sincerest sympathies to the family and friends of the victim. The community shares in your grief.

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