Suicide Attorney Skip Simpson Lauds Washington State Lawmakers’ Efforts to Help At Risk Teenagers

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Simpson, whose law firm represents families whose loved ones have died by suicide due to negligence, says Washington State is the leading state in the nation on taking action to prevent suicide.

Washington State is the nation’s leading state on taking action on suicide prevention. I hope that other states follow its lead and pass similar legislation.

Attorney Skip Simpson today praised Washington State lawmakers for supporting a bill designed to increase schools’ capacity to recognize and respond to young people at risk of suicide.

The school suicide prevention legislation is awaiting Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature, according to Simpson, a suicide malpractice attorney based in Texas. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people in Washington between 10 and 24, according to the Washington State Department of Health, and suicide rates remain higher than the national average.

“Washington State is the nation’s leading state on taking action on suicide prevention,” Simpson said. “I hope that other states follow its lead and pass similar legislation.”

Dr. Paul Quinnett, president and CEO of the QPR Institute, Inc., a Spokane-based suicide prevention education organization, said the bill would ultimately save young people’s lives.

“(The bill) provides a first line of defense against youth suicide in our schools,” Quinnett testified before legislators in February 2012. In his testimony, he called for sufficient training of school nurses, social workers, psychologists and counselors.

He said the legislation would provide additional training, more comprehensive planning and would put an emphasis on partnerships between schools and communities. Educators would learn the skills necessary to identify at-risk youth, initially assess that risk and implement risk mitigation strategies. With adequate training, they would know how to make referrals for care to competent mental health professionals, according to HB 1336.

According to the bill, school nurses, social workers, psychologists and counselors must complete a training program on youth suicide screening and referral as a condition of certification.

Quinnett said more than 90 percent of Americans who die by suicide suffer from a treatable mental illness and/or a substance disorder. “These include our youth, whose rates of suicidal thinking, attempts, and death remain unacceptably high,” Quinnett said.

He said that 14 percent of 12th-graders seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months and that almost 11 percent made a plan to take their own lives. “Losing two young people a week in our state to our most preventable death is simply not acceptable,” Quinnett said.

Attorney Simpson, who represents families whose loved ones died by suicide due to the negligence of medical professionals, said he hopes other states follow Washington’s lead.

Last year, Washington State adopted a law that requires mental health professionals to receive additional training to help them detect and prevent suicides. The Matt Adler Suicide Assessment, Treatment and Management Act of 2012 was signed into law in March 2012.

Any family whose loved one died by suicide in a hospital or a psychiatric facility should seek the help of an experienced suicide attorney by calling (214) 618-8222 or visiting

About The Law Offices of Skip Simpson
For over twenty years, Skip Simpson has been practicing law, focusing on psychiatric and psychological malpractice, suicide lawsuits, as well as personal injury civil, commercial and criminal litigation. Nationally recognized for his expertise in suicide law, he is considered a pioneer in the field of suicide litigation and has represented families who have lost loved ones to suicide around the country.    
The Law Offices of Skip Simpson is located at 2591 Dallas Parkway, Suite 300, Frisco, Texas.

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