suicide

Sabrina Brown

COVID-19 has forced people across Kentucky and around the world to drastically limit their daily interactions with others in order to save lives.

In addition to the concern about physical health, the isolation is intensifying a secondary crisis – and that’s mental health.

Sabrina Brown is an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Kentucky. She also works with the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, part of the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

Brown co-authored an article recently published in The Journal of Rural Health titled, “Suicide in the Time of COVID-19: A Perfect Storm.

WKU Public Radio Reporter Rhonda Miller spoke with Brown about what she sees as the increasing impact of the coronavirus on mental health. 


Courtesy of Steve Meyers

A retired U.S. Army veteran working to raise awareness about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is bringing his message to Fort Knox on Friday.

Sergeant First Class Stephen Meyers is walking across the country as part of a campaign to alert the public to mental health issues facing veterans and many others.

His speech with Fort Knox coincides as the U.S. Army Human Resources Command is stepping up efforts to promote physical and mental well-being through it's "Risk Reduction Program." That effort is an ongoing year-long campaign taking a prevention-focused approach to issues like PTSD and subsquent dangers, like suicide.

Rhonda Miller

Some Kentucky legislators want to raise awareness about suicide among farmers.

House Bill 59 would declare the third Wednesday of September, “Farmer Suicide Prevention Day” to bring awareness to mental health challenges that farmers face.

“This issue has been around for a long time. It’s just that it really hasn’t gotten the attention that it deserves and is, often times, a hard conversation to have,” said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.

Quarles said the bill is designed to start those conversations about suicide.


The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to launch a new three-digit hotline for people who are feeling suicidal or are going through any other mental health crisis. It recommends making 988 the new national number to call for help, replacing the current 10-digit number.

The agency presented the idea to Congress in a report earlier this month and is expected to release more information and seek public comment about the proposal in the coming months.

Danielle Steelesmith

A new county-level study sheds further light on factors that increase risk for suicide. The study by The Ohio State University also shows that in many places in the U.S., the rate of suicides has gradually exceeded the national average over the past 16 years. This includes many parts of Kentucky, especially in rural areas.

The research shows counties that have higher rates of residents who are low income, are veterans or aren’t married all contribute to higher than average rates of suicide. Suicide rates also increased more rapidly in rural areas than in urban counties. 


http://www.warrencountyky.gov

A declining number of suicides and overdose deaths are two factors behind the overall drop in deaths seen in Warren County last year. The county saw 78 fewer deaths in 2018 than the year before.

Suicides were down by four, fatal auto accidents by eight, homicides by three and overdose deaths declined by five. 

Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby attributes the reduction in suicides to public awareness campaigns. He said the public has become more informed about noticing the warning signs for suicide, as well as the need to use seat belts while driving. Kirby said part of his job as coroner is to notice trends and work to prevent similar deaths from happening.

For the second time in three years, life expectancy in the U.S. has ticked downward. In three reports issued Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laid out a series of statistics that revealed some troubling trend lines — including rapidly increasing rates of death from drug overdoses and suicide.

CDC Director Robert Redfield described the data as "troubling."

Your kid can grow up, even join the Army and go to war, and you'll still do dad things when he comes back. David Toombs would make his son lunch.

"I always made him extra, just in case he got hungry or he wanted a snack or he was running low on money. So I made his lunch like a typical dad," says Toombs.

Toombs worked right next to his son, John, at a steel die shop in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Warren Wong/Unsplash

Western Kentucky University has received a federal grant to conduct research on suicide and self-harm in adolescents. The $413,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is for a three-year project to address a growing mental health concern. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for ages 15-to-34 in Kentucky. 

WKU Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences Amy Brausch is the lead researcher on the study.

“Non-suicidal self-injury is kind of the technical term for behaviors that are still self-injuring. So most people are familiar with cutting that sometimes adolescents will do. And it’s self-injury that does not have the intent to die. So it’s used for different purposes, usually to help regulate really strong negative emotions,” said Brausch.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

Kate Spade, the designer who built a billion-dollar brand of luxury handbags and accessories, was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday. She was 55.

New York Police Department officials said that police received a call around 10:30 a.m. and that officers found Spade unconscious and unresponsive in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was a suicide," NYPD spokeswoman Arlene Muniz told NPR, without providing further details.

Suicides have been surging in Tennessee, and state health officials don’t know why — in part — because they haven't been studying them closely. The legislature is considering a proposal to review each suicide, case by case.

Melanie Carter-Hack

Twelve percent of high school sophomores in Kentucky have a suicide plan and eight percent have attempted suicide. A report by Kentucky Incentives for Prevention says there’s also a disturbing national trend among younger children. The suicide rate for 10-to-14-year-olds doubled between 2007 and 2014.

The tragedy of adolescents taking their own lives is a reality in Kentucky.  A Hardin County mom, Melanie Carter-Hack, talks about the bullying that she believes contributed to the suicide of her 12-year-old daughter, Reagan Carter.

"We were living in Bardstown, Kentucky in Nelson County and Reagan was a 7th grader at Bardstown Middle School. We had never had any issues in the primary school, the elementary school. I mean, these were kids she had grown up with. And then 7th grade year was just a little bit different.

Flickr/Creative Commons

A recent state report shows 15 percent of high school sophomores in Kentucky have thought about taking their own lives. Some teenagers in Kentucky have done more than think about suicide.

The latest report from Kentucky Incentives for Prevention, or KIP, shows 12 percent of high school sophomores have made a plan to take their own lives. And eight percent have attempted suicide.

Joy Graham is director of the LifeSkills Regional Prevention Center in Bowling Green and a suicide prevention specialist who conducts training for area educators. Graham says said the community needs to talk about suicide because it does happen here.

Netflix

A southern Kentucky education leader is issuing a warning to parents about a controversial new series on Netflix.  The superintendent of Warren County schools is worried about the way the show handles the issue of suicide and young people.

The series “13 Reasons Why” chronicles the suicide of a young woman who leaves behind 13 messages to people in her life that she blamed for her death.  The drama also addresses bullying, substance abuse, rape, and depression. 

Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton says he doesn’t recommend young people viewing the series.

Research in Kentucky to Explore Impact of Military Suicides

Aug 21, 2012

With the rate of suicides among military personnel continuing to rise, a University of Kentucky professor is leading a study to investigate the effect those deaths have on family and friends left behind. Based on previous research, it’s estimated that around 40% of Kentuckians know someone who has taken their own life.