Suicide Awareness

By: Tamara Evans
By: Tamara Evans

In 2003 Kentucky was ranked 19th in the nation for suicide, but that number has now jumped to 12th in the nation.

On average nearly 500 Kentucky citizens are lost to suicide each year and that number continues to grow in our state and across the country.

"Nationally we lose about 30,000 per year to suicide and in the state of Kentucky in the year 2003, which is the latest statistics, we lost about 567 people,” said Evelyn Libe, with the Barren River Area Suicide Prevention Council.

The latest statistics show suicide is the second leading cause for death for Kentuckians aged 15 to 34, an alarming number that many are trying to help prevent.

"Individuals out there in the community who are feeling hopeless and helpless, we want them to be aware that there are services out there to prevent suicide,” Libe said.

Evelyn Libe is part of the Barren River Area Suicide Prevention Council and said they deal with suicidal calls on a daily basis.

In just one day Libe said they can get anywhere from 10 to 15 calls.

She said if people are aware of the signs and symptoms of suicide and that there is help out there the problem can help be prevented.

"I just want people to not feel ashamed and to ask for some help if they are feeling extremely hopeless and know that there is help out there,” Libe said.

The following is a list of warning signs to look for (courtesy: Kentucky Suicide Prevention Planning Group 2006)

A Suicidal Person may:

  • Talk about suicide
  • Be preoccupied with death and dying
  • Withdraw from friends/family
  • Have a severe loss (esp. relationship)
  • Experience drastic changes in behavior
  • Lose interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.
  • Give away prized possessions
  • Have attempted suicide more
  • Take unnecessary risks
  • Increase their use of alcohol or drugs
  • Have a history of violence or hostility

    A suicide vigil was held at Fountain Square Park in downtown Bowling Green, and the second Lee Eric Drake Foundation benefit concert was held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The benefit concert was to remember Lee Eric Drake and money raised will benefit the foundation's scholarship fund.

    For more information on suicide awareness, or ways to help, you can contact Lifeskills at (270) 843-HELP.

    For more information about the Lee Eric Drake foundation, visit www.leeericdrake.com.


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