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Governor Fletcher Launches Suicide Prevention Campaign: “It’s Everybody’s Business”

Press Release Date:  Thursday, September 01, 2005  
Contact Information:  Vikki Franklin or Gwenda Bond (502)564-6786  


NOTE TO EDITORS/STATION MANAGERS: To request copies of audio or TV PSAs, please see information at end of release.

Governor Fletcher Launches Suicide Prevention Campaign: “It’s Everybody’s Business”

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2005) Governor Ernie Fletcher joined the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Group (KSPG) at the Capitol today to launch a statewide suicide prevention awareness campaign.


 “I hope this campaign will help educate and inform Kentuckians about how suicide affects our state,” Governor Fletcher said. “It truly is the responsibility of every Kentuckian to be aware of the warning signs and to seek help when needed. We must work together in communities across the commonwealth to save lives and help Kentucky families.”


The “Suicide Prevention: It’s Everybody’s Business” campaign includes radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) that will be provided to media outlets across the state. The PSAs were produced by KSPG member Jan Ulrich, who lost her 20-year-old son, Nathan Eisert, to suicide in June 2002. They direct those who need help or may have family or friends who do to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for assistance or those who would like to become more involved in community prevention efforts may call the state suicide prevention group at (502)564-4456.


The message will also be highlighted at the Sept. 6-7 suicide prevention conference at the Galt House in Louisville, sponsored by the KSPG in the Department for Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services (DMHMRS). Governor Fletcher also signed a proclamation designating Sept. 4-10 as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. 
Each year in Kentucky over 500 lives are lost to suicide, almost twice the number of deaths by homicide and HIV combined. In Kentucky, suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 34-year-olds, third for 10 to 14-year-olds and the fourth for 35 to 54-year-olds. Of the 540 Kentucky suicide deaths in 2002, 445 of the victims were male. Kentucky’s suicide rate is the 19th highest in the nation.


The KSPG recently completed “Preventing Suicide: Kentucky’s Plan,” outlining the group’s strategy for providing and promoting opportunities for all Kentuckians to become active in reducing suicide deaths and attempts. The group’s mission is to coordinate suicide prevention efforts, using a collaborative community approach to raise awareness, implement prevention training and improve access to resources for those with depression and other mental health or substance abuse disorders. The plan was submitted to the House Bill 843 Commission.


Officials at the event emphasized the need to get help immediately by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a referral should someone you know exhibit the following warning signs:


• Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself, or taking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself.
• Someone looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means.
• Someone talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.


You should also seek help if you witness these additional warning signs in another person:
• Hopelessness
• Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
• Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
• Feeling trapped – like there’s no way out
• Increased alcohol or drug use
• Withdrawing from friends, family and society
• Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
• Dramatic mood changes
• No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life

For more information on suicide prevention, visit the group’s Web site at http://mhmr.ky.gov/mhsas/suicidepreventiongroup.asp or contact Jason Padgett at (502)564-4456 or Jason.padgett@ky.gov.
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NOTE TO EDITORS/STATION MANAGERS: PSAs for TV and radio are available upon request. The :30 radio PSA is available as an mp3 file here: http://mhmr.ky.gov/mhsas/files/Suicide%20Prevention.mp3. Contact the Communications Office at (502)564-6786 or Gwenda.Bond@ky.gov to request a Beta cassette of the TV PSA or receive the radio spot by e-mail or on audio CD.



 

Last Updated 11/17/2016