Suicide prevention efforts at WKU stalled?

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My name is Jan Ulrich. I am the mother of Nathan Eisert, the former WKU basketball player who died by suicide in his dorm on June 8, 2002. We now understand that Nathan was released from the basketball team 5 weeks prior to his death because of the pain and depression he was dealing with after injuries. As a member of the Kentucky Suicide Prevention Planning Group (KSPPG), I am encouraged to see several Kentucky universities taking advantage of low or no cost suicide prevention efforts like the Jeb Foundation’s and QPR suicide intervention training. I am very disheartened that Western has shown no interest in utilizing these tools. It is not from lack of knowledge – I offered both these options to WKU six months to a year ago. A representative from Western’s counseling department even attends the KSPPG meetings – as per my request of Pres. Ransdell. Suicide is STILL the 2nd leading cause of death for college students and the 2nd leading cause of death for 15 to 34 year olds in KY. What is it going to take, Western officials? Another suicide death? A lawsuit? I suspect Katie Autrey’s family doesn’t want to see another family go through the horrors they must deal with now – so they have hired lawyers to bring this change. My family deals with the same overwhelming pain every minute of everyday with the loss of Nathan. My son’s death was no less tragic and with training and awareness, every bit as preventable. It’s time to prove whether or not the safety of WKU students only matters when lawyers are involved.


Jan Ulrich

momma of Nathan Eisert 5/27/82-6/8/02