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Kentucky to receive more than $3.6 Million in federal funds for suicide prevention


Kentucky is getting more than $3.6 million dollars in federal grants for suicide prevention. The Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention grant is awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Beck Whipple is the statewide suicide prevention coordinator for Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. He said the money will be used in schools and part of it will focus on more than just prevention.

“We also know schools need “postvention” plans. What to do after a suicide death occurs. Because good postvention is good prevention for further distress.”

Whipple said Kentucky loses around two dozen young people to suicide each year.

“Kentucky, unfortunately, loses about 20 to 25 young people a year to suicide under 24. A majority of those young folks are in that 17–24-year-olds. We are losing too many young people to suicide.”

Whipple said that number has stabilized in recent years. He said more people are the using the Suicide and Crisis hotline.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or going through a crisis can call 9-8-8 the national suicide hotline.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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