WDRB Media: State Rep. Dan Johnson commits suicide; under investigation for sexual molestation

Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson, who was under investigation for alleged sexual molestation, has committed suicide. Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said Johnson shot himself on a bridge on Greenwell Ford Road in Mt. Washington, and the gun was recovered. Don Johnson speaks from his pulpit (Photo by Ryland Barton, WFPL) Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Johnson posted the following message on his...

Ky. teen suicide rate more than doubles in two years; One in 12 sophomores report trying to kill themselves

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A recent survey found that one in 12 of Kentucky’s high-school sophomores said they had attempted suicide, prompting experts on the topic to discuss what is being done about it. The main solution offered was more family support for teenagers, even those who may be only temporarily troubled. In a tone of incredulity, Dr. Allen Brenzel, medical director of...

Stephen Pruitt: Meeting both the mental and emotional needs of our most vulnerable children

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward The numbers are sobering. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2015 among those aged 15-24. And the National Alliance on Mental Illness says 90 percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Kentucky is not immune to the prevalence of mental illness or suicide. In a 2016...

KIP survey indicate alarming number of Kentucky teenagers have contemplated suicide

The first few weeks of a new school year can be overwhelming and sometimes very difficult for many students. With classes now back in session across the Commonwealth, officials want school staff and parents to know about that a recent report that indicated an alarming number of Kentucky teenagers have considered or attempted suicide. The report, from Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP), shows...

One in 12 Ky. high-school sophomores in 2016 poll said they’d attempted suicide in previous year

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A 2016 survey found that 8.2 percent of Kentucky’s high-school sophomores – about one in 12 – said they had attempted suicide at least once in the previous 12 months. That may seem high, but the national rate is even higher: 9.4 percent. “We need to take that seriously,” Dr. Julie Cerel, a psychologist and professor at the University of...

Constance Alexander: Coalition gives hope and provides education regarding suicide

My friend took a life. Her own. She planned it the way she did everything. With meticulous attention to detail. She focused her efforts on avoiding intervention or detection, keeping her eyes on her goal. She knew her intense sense of privacy would be lost as a result of her act, but she did all she could to minimize impact on those who would find her. She left detailed directions, including letters...

High suicide rate in rural Kentucky attributed to poor mental health access, stigma, ‘gun culture’

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News After a decade of decline, suicide is becoming more common in the United States, increasing by 24 percent from 1999 through 2014, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC report looked at cause-of-death data between 1999 and 2014 and found that suicide rates increased for both males and females in all age groups from 10 to...

Mike Farrell: No matter how hard we try, suicide is beyond understanding, explanation

They were just two lines in the New York Times online: The Marin County sheriff’s office said in a statement that it “suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.” An investigation was under way. Robin Williams, who made us laugh for more than three decades, apparently drowned in his own depression. It is beyond understanding, and it is certainly beyond explanation.   Robin Williams The...