Suicide Prevention Week aims to curb growing rate among Kentucky teenagers
Every year, suicide claims the lives of thousands of people across the country, including many here in Kentuckiana.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Every year, suicide claims the lives of thousands of people across the country, including many here in Kentuckiana. And during National Suicide Prevention Week from Sept. 10-16, experts hope to bring attention to the problem and save lives.
One of those lives lost was that of Richard Farmer's daughter, who committed suicide six years ago at the age of 36. After some problems at work Amy Farmer was venting to a friend over the telephone.
Farmer said, "And this is the one heartbreaking part, the friend said, 'Lets go out and grab something to eat.' And Amy said, 'I'm tired. I think I am just going to go to bed.'"
But instead, the 36-year old took her own life.
"She basically, at that point, as best that we can figure, she took an overdose of a pain killer, and she died sometime overnight," Farmer said. "I think about her every day."
And despite having regrets, Farmer said no one saw it coming.
"If her mother didn't notice, I guarantee you there were no signs," he said.
Experts hope National Suicide Prevention Week will help bring attention and awareness to the problem.
"If you always look back, there are signs," said Eric Gross, LPCC Director of Clinical Services Kentucky One Health Our Lady of Peace. "It's a huge, huge problem."
Gross has treated dozens of suicidal people and said Kentucky's suicide rate is extremely high, especially among young people.
"Right now, I think it's the second-leading cause of deaths among teenagers in the state of Kentucky."
Gross said the key to saving lives is asking tough, uncomfortable questions.
Meanwhile, Farmer still replays his painful loss from time to time.
"If she was feeling that bad, why couldn't she just pick up the phone?," he said. "Just call me. Let's talk."
Farmer's hurt will probably never go away, but he hopes sharing his story helps another family avoid the pain he feels.
"It's nothing that really I am crazy about talking about," Farmer said.
Experts say suicide is preventable, but knowing the warning signs is a crucial part of saving lives. They also say it's a lifelong battle, so keep asking those tough questions.
If you need help, you can call 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE.
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