Carter County officials talk about need for suicide prevention during recent workshop

suicide prevention life line logoKentucky is one of the top 20 states for suicide, with nearly 700 Kentuckians taking their own lives each year, according to the latest confirmed figures available.

However, suicide is often considered a taboo subject, rarely addressed publicly by elected officials, other community leaders and the news media.

That changed recently in Carter County, when Sheriff Jeff May and state Rep. Jill York of Grayson collaborated with County Judge-Executive Mike Malone for a recent suicide-prevention workshop.

Rep. York told Kentucky Health News that officials need “to step forward and be able to pull the resources together and throw the push behind it … to say, we’re going to talk about this even if it’s uncomfortable because it’s important, because we’ve got lives we’ve got to save. Stop being polite, stop letting it be something that we don’t talk about. To say, if we are losing one person in our community to this, then that is too many.”

The workshop was led by local experts on mental health from nearby universities, Pathways Inc., and the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group.

For 24/7 assistance and information about local resources or clinicians equipped to deal with suicidal patients, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). To contact the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group, call (859) 429-1930 or email kspginc@gmail.com. More information is also available on the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Suicide Prevention Program website by clicking here.