Kennewick Police say their response calls to reports of suicidal persons, who may harm themselves or even others, have increased dramatically since the Stay At Home orders went into effect during COVID.

They began to tick up a bit when the COVID issue began, but especially since many people have been 'forced' to stay home, or at least away from their jobs. Factor in so many other normal outlets for recreation, entertainment and even livelihood being shuttered, people have had to cope. And many are having a difficult time.

Several national retail studies have shown the last few weeks alcohol sales nationwide have risen as much as 55% and you have situations that can result in significant issues.

Kennewick and other officers stress the need for people to reach out to others if they are feeling this way, or having trouble coping. There is always help available.

All area departments do have counselors who ride along with officers, and the Lourdes Counseling hotline is available 24-7 by calling (509)-783-0500, or the national Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.