Fellow Kentuckians we need your help! A Senate Joint Resolution 148 was introduced Tuesday by Senator Tom Buford and Rep. Mary Lou Marzian that calls for establishing a suicide prevention advisory committee for the state of Kentucky. For too long, suicide has claimed the lives of approximately 500 Kentuckians each year and, according to Healthy Kentuckians 2010, twice as many Kentuckians die by suicide each year than by homicide.
In 2001, Kentucky’s rate of suicide of 12.2 deaths per 100,000 residents is higher than the national average of 10.7 deaths per 100,000 residents. For our 15 to 34 year olds it is the second leading cause of death and fourth leading cause of death for our citizens ages 35 to 54.
For approximately the past 2 years, the Kentucky Department of Health Services have met with a dedicated volunteer group of mental health professionals, public health officials, educators, family members, and survivors of suicide to advance state and local suicide prevention strategies. Resolution 148 will establish a suicide prevention advisory committee to develop recommendations and strategies to reduce suicide rates consistent with the goals of Healthy Kentuckians 2010.
Resolution 148 asks for no money. It will require that Educational and health groups from across Kentucky come together to work toward the common goal of preventing suicide deaths. The United States Air Force has proven that this strategy works.
As a parent, I am going to ask you to take a moment to look at your son or daughter. There is presently no one on this earth that can tell you if the horrible disease called depression will attack them or not. However, what we do know from the US Air Force is that if we know what to look for if this disease attacks them that we will have a chance to save their life.
As parents who lost our basketball playing son Nathan while in college at WKU to Depression / Suicide, we, the coaches and others were not aware of what to look for to help stop this disease. We now have the opportunity to change that so we beg you to take a moment to contact your legislator to ask that they support Senate Joint Resolution 148. For our son it is to late. For other Kentucky sons and daughters it is not.
Please contact your legislator and ask them to support Senate Joint Resolution 148. Who is your legislator? Call (502) 564-8100 LRC Legislative Message Line: 1-800-372-7181 web site – http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/whoswho/whosmyleg.htm To read the Senate Joint Resolution 148 www.span-ky.com
Stephen and Jan Ulrich
10515 Leven Blvd.
Louisville, KY 40229