Psychologist uses his own life lessons – including a failed suicide attempt – to help others thinking about taking their own lives

After someone commits suicide, family members and friends are left to wonder why. They reconstruct recent events and interactions, trying to recall any signs that their loved one was contemplating taking their own life.

Insider Louisville Logo“The biggest feeling is guilt for not seeing it,” Dr. Josh Smith, a licensed clinical psychologist, says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “Even when the individual does not show any discernible signs you feel like there is something that you missed.”

During National Suicide Awareness Month this month, the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) encourages everyone to share resources and stories in an effort to simply talk about the highly stigmatized topic.

In Kentucky, suicide is on the rise, with 776 deaths occurring in 2017. There were 584 deaths by suicide in Jefferson County between 2011 and 2015.

To help tackle this issue, the Louisville Health Advisory Board is holding free suicide prevention training at 85 locations around Jefferson County from Sept. 9 through 15 in association with National Suicide Prevention Week. The 90-minute “Question. Persuade. Refer.” (QPR) sessions are designed to teach people how to respond to someone in crisis and are taught much like CPR. The goal of the training is to educate people on how to talk with someone who might be at risk. To learn more and see a complete list of the times and locations, please go online to qprlou.com.

To hear more from Dr. Smith, including his very personal stories about suicide, please click here.

 

Louisville Health Advisory Board plans free suicide prevention trainings to help reduce deaths

One person dies by suicide in Kentucky about every 11 hours, making it the 11th leading cause of death overall, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Efforts to increase suicide prevention and awareness include many different things, but the Louisville Health Advisory Board (LHAB) is adding something new this year.

To try to bring suicides in the city down to zero, LHAB — of which Passport is a proud member — is offering suicide prevention training in more than 85 locations during National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 9-15) as part of its “Bold Moves Against Suicide Louisville” initiative.

“The concept is that any suicide that exists may be related to an opportunity to stop that suicide,” said Dr. Val Slayton, a member of the LHAB behavioral health committee. “And an important part of being able to stop suicide is by having individuals understand what to look for. And then how to intervene.”

The free 90-minute “Question. Persuade. Refer. (QPR)” training is designed to teach people how to respond to someone in crisis and is taught much like CPR. It is designed to teach people how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, how to offer hope and how to get help and save a life.

To see where the classes are being offered, please go online to qprlou.org. If you or someone you know is in crisis, the national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255. The Crisis Text Line is also available 24/7 by texting HOME to 741741.