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Gov. Beshear joins mental health advocates to highlight suicide prevention, increase awareness

Governor Andy Beshear and Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman joined mental health advocates and...
Governor Andy Beshear and Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman joined mental health advocates and leaders to raise awareness and proclaim it National Suicide Prevention Week.(WKYT)
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 3:54 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear and Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman joined mental health advocates and leaders to raise awareness and proclaim it National Suicide Prevention Week.

According to the governor’s office, in 2020, 756 Kentuckians died by suicide making it the state’s 11th leading cause of death and second among those ages 10-34.

“With the mental health challenges many people have faced during the pandemic, it is more important than ever to be supportive, to make sure they realize they are not alone, for us to know the signs and to take immediate action to help those in crisis,” said Governor Beshear. “Through the remainder of this pandemic and as we emerge, we must look out for our fellow Kentuckians and protect one another to prevent us from losing more beloved family members, friends and neighbors to suicide.”

At UofL Health – Peace Hospital, the governor signed the proclamation designating this National Suicide Prevention Week in the commonwealth.

The hospital’s leaders emphasized that suicide prevention demands immediate action.

If someone says they are thinking about suicide, Kentuckians should:

  • Take them seriously
  • Listen
  • Don’t leave them alone
  • Help them get to a professional for evaluation and treatment

“More than 10 million Americans will have thoughts about suicide every year. We lost a heartbreaking 756 Kentuckians last year. One is too many,” said Martha Mather, chief administrative officer of UofL Health – Peace Hospital. “It is important we talk about suicide and mental health. The more we talk about it, it reduces the stigma. And the more we know about it, the better prepared we are to step in to help.”

If you find yourself having suicidal thoughts, dial 911 immediately, go to a nearby hospital or:

  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK
  • Find crisis lines by county here
  • Visit Peace Hospital’s Assessment and Referral Center for 24/7 no charge assessments:
    • In Louisville: 502-451-3333
    • In Lexington and Eastern Kentucky: 859-313-3515

In May, Kentucky received a $340,000 grant to build capacity for the upcoming transition to a nationwide 988 hotline, which will replace the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 800-273-8255.

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