Drop-In Support Group Formed in Response to Death of Kirkland Teen

The group is free, open to all and meets each Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Youth Eastside Services office at the Forbes house at Juanita Beach Park.


The recent death of a Juanita High School student and similar tragedies over the last year or more have prompted Bellevue-based Youth Eastside Services (YES) to create a drop-in support group that meets each Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in Kirkland.

“It’s an opportunity for students to get together and share,” said Maria Lamarca Anderson, a YES community relations specialist. “It's our way of being part of the community and helping youth who have been affected by tragedy, whether they knew the student or not.”

The death last week at a residence in the Norkirk neighborhood was initially investigated as a suicide, according to Kirkland Police.

Lt. John Haslip of the Kirkland Police Department confirmed Wednesday that the person who died was a Juanita High student, and said investigators continue to review the circumstances. "There was a death, and the case is still an open investigation," he said.

Patch typically does not report suicides, but sources in the community say the student's death might have been the result an accidental shooting. No charges have been filed in the case.

Whatever the cause, it was not the only tragic death in recent months of a Kirkland teen. In June, a Kirkland Junior High school student committed suicide. Patch posted a story after receiving reports of police activity in the Highlands neighborhood, and the next day a letter from the school went out to parents. Patch subsequently received unconfirmed reports of two previous suicides by students of Lake Washington High during the 2011-12 school year, and of two teen suicides in the community the year before.

The drop-in support group meets at the YES office in the Forbes house at Juanita Beach Park (11829 97th Avenue NE) each Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., as long as it is necessary, said Lamarca Anderson. YES counselors will be on hand, and all students are welcome.

There is no cost and pre-registration is not required.

Founded in 1968, YES is a service agency for Eastside kids and families coping with challenges such as emotional distress, substance abuse and violence. It operates offices in Bellevue, Kirkland and Redmond.


What resources do you think benefit youth struggling with tragedy? What can we, as a community, do to help them? Please tell us in the comments.

namehereanonymous October 17, 2012 at 06:22 PM
This is great that there is an open dropin support group. No fee, not restricting to the day/time people may need to mourn, etc. I applaud this. I would also submit though that after going through a very recent loss to a family member due to circumstances like this, I would love to have a group like this to go to but I am not a teen. There isn't even a Survivors of Suicide group that meets in this area. I'd have to go to Tacoma or Auburn for the only SOS groups around here that actually meet.
Greg Johnston October 17, 2012 at 06:36 PM
This group in Seattle might be able to help, or steer you in the right direction namehereanonymous. I'm sure you have also explored help through your medical provider, if you have health insurance? My thoughts are with you, thank you for sharing. http://www.crisisclinic.org/main.html
namehereanonymous October 17, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Thanks Greg. Well a couple things about insurance, we are inbetween jobs so I need to know our NEW insurance before I get knee deep in with a counselor only to find that they aren't covered by the new insurance. Previously with Group Health which is run differently. The other issue is that I've been told a) we mainly focus on marriage and addictions counseling but sure we will see you (uh I really want an actual grief counselor, that is important to me from advice I've gotten froma friend who has gone through this) and b) Sorry we aren't taking patients at this time and c) Ok we can book you 3 weeks out from now but you won't have a consistent time, everyone else already has a weekly time so you'd be the gap filler if there are cancellations. That is why I love this idea that it's drop in and if a person is struggling that day they can go. Thanks for the Seattle link. I will pursue that.
D Winters October 19, 2012 at 05:07 AM
There used to be a drop in "grief support group" at Overlake Hospital. There was no registration required, no fee and anyone could come to the group. Despite the number of people who die at Overlake the hospital it now only has a support group for people who lose someone to cancer. Evergereen has a group which meets for a short number of weeks and it is not free. It is more like other classes offered by the hospital. So basically there is no grief support available on the Eastside on a drop in basis for adults.
Elly December 11, 2012 at 01:36 AM
There's a very helpfulm organization for parents and siblings of those who have died, from any cause that meets on the Eastside. It's called The Compassionate Friends. Google it and you'll see they have two locations on the Eastside. TCF is a National organization with many chaptors, so feel free to tell friends and family about them.


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