Kentucky tends to fare poorly in most health rankings, and suicide is no different. Between 1999 and 2016, the state’s suicide rate rose almost 37 percent. For the years 2008-104, Jefferson County ranked 11th among 50 peer counties for highest rates of suicide.
But a community-wide coalition in Louisville seeks to reverse the numbers – and you can help. In conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Week Sept. 9-15, the Louisville Health Advisory Board’s Behavioral Health committee wants Louisville to set a world record for training the most individuals in a week in QPR, a prevention technique.
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer. It is a free 90-minute training course designed to support any adult’s ability to make a difference – including those who have no healthcare training or expertise. You’ll learn about the myths of suicide, how to pick up clues, how to talk with someone who might be considering suicide, how to persuade them to seek help and how to refer that person for help.
Older adults are not immune from this deadly trend. In 2016, suicide was the eighth leading cause of death for people ages 55-64. Men ages 85 and older have the highest suicide rate of any group in the country. Seniors often face isolation or chronic health conditions that may leave them depressed. And it’s important to note that not all suicides are linked to a mental health condition.
If you are concerned about your loved one, but don’t know where to turn, our care managers can refer you to mental health resources. Simply call 502.587.8673 and ask to speak with a community social worker. If you or a loved one is having a crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help. Call toll-free, 800.273.8255, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Click here to learn more about QPR and sign up for a training session. Together, we can make a real difference in our community.