In response to a national rise in suicide among middle-aged men, the Owensboro Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition is launching an initiative to get businesses involved in training programs.
“We’ve developed a PowerPoint and a presentation and in the next month or so we’re going to present those to a couple of local business groups,” said Mike Flaherty, president of the coalition.
That presentation is a first step toward encouraging local businesses to develop suicide prevention programs.
Another step will take place during the coalition’s conference in April. It’s usually for mental health professionals.
This year, the conference features Sally Spencer-Thomas, a recognized expert in suicide prevention in the workplace.
“We’ll be providing some training that we hope some of the local business leaders and supervisors will look at, and consider instituting suicide prevention in the workplace,” says Flaherty.
The April conference will also feature Kevin Hines, who survived a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge when he was 19.
Flaherty says the Owensboro and Daviess County region tends to mirror national trends in suicide. So getting businesses involved in suicide prevention is a proactive measure.
Mental health experts say the reasons for suicide are complicated and there’s not one reason a person takes their own life.
The most important thing is to learn to recognize signs that someone may be considering suicide and get that person seek help.
River Valley Behavioral Health in Beaver Dam has a crisis line at 270-684-9466.
The national suicide hotline is 800-273-TALK.