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.

 

Mental health advocates work to ‘stop the stigma of mental illness’ and raise awareness

Insider Louisville LogoAccording to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences a mental illness in a given year. To raise awareness during May, which has been known as Mental Health Month since 1949, those in the business of treating and helping those individuals are using the hashtag #mentalillnessfeelslike throughout social media.

Jean Henry, who was recently named Executive Director of NAMI-Louisville, said one goal of the campaign is awareness.

“We want to stop the stigma of mental illness,” she said in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “People with mental illness suffer because of people’s attitudes and ignorance of the issue.”

For more information, please click here.