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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Suicide prevention week marked by Louisville conference featuring nationally recognized experts

Press Release Date:  Thursday, August 11, 2005  
Contact Information:  CONTACT: Vikki Franklin, 502/564-6786
Jason Padgett or Barbara Kaminer, 502/564-4456

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (Aug. 11, 2005) --- In Kentucky 50 percent more people die by suicide each year than by homicide, according to Department for Public Health statistics.

“Experts believe that most suicidal individuals do not want to die. They just want to end the pain they are experiencing.  According the American Association of Suicidology, when suicidal intent or risk is detected early, lives can be saved,” said Jason Padgett, the state’s suicide prevention coordinator.

The Kentucky Suicide Prevention group is marking Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 4-10, with a suicide prevention conference and workshop at the Galt House in Louisville.  The cost is $60 for each two-day event.

The conference, Suicide Prevention: It’s Everybody’s Business is Sept. 6-7, focuses on building local community coalitions to address this public health problem. “Research shows that a community approach to prevention is more effective than individual interventions. Universal programs broadly blanketing a school or community have been shown to be effective in reducing suicide rates. For example, the Air Force’s prevention program removed barriers; increased knowledge, attitudes, and competencies within that community; and increased access to help and support with a consequent decrease in suicide rates,” said Pat Wear II, Commissioner, Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services.

The grief workshop conducted by Barbara Rubel, Palette of Grief, Sept. 8-9, allows participants, both survivors and providers, to experience a guided self-discovery through an art exercise that helps identify grief.  "I look at grief as a palette of many colors: emotional, behavioral, cognitive, spiritual, and physical colors. Some emotional colors include anger and disbelief. Some behavioral colors are not sleeping and visiting places of remembrance,” says Rubel, a nationally recognized expert on suicide and grief.  “A few cognitive colors are confusion and dreaming. Spiritual colors include searching for meaning in the loss and questioning beliefs. A few physical colors are dry mouth and lack of energy. The colors blend together and no two palettes are alike. Whether your loss was recent or occurred several years ago, every person grieves in their own way."

For more information about the conference or to register, contact Jason Padgett at (502) 564-4456 or visit




Last Updated 8/11/2005