Kansas recognizes Suicide Prevention Week

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – This week the state of Kansas is recognizing a national issue.

Saturday, Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.

That’s why back in August, Governor Sam Brownback signed a proclamation designating this week, Sept. 5-11 as Suicide Prevention Week in Kansas.

It’s a week nationally recognized as a time to raise awareness and educate people about suicide prevention.

In Kansas, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall and the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34.

The week recognizes suicide as a significant mental health problem and it declares prevention a statewide priority.

“All of us can prevent suicide. It takes no special training, only a kind heart,” said Time Keck, acting secretary for The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS).

“When we listen, when we lend a hand, when we encourage, we can all make a difference in the life of someone who is in despair.”

While this is a national effort, one Kansas organization is working to make a difference locally.

The Kansas Prevention Collaborative (KPC) was organized by KDADS in 2015.

Their goal is to combine behavioral health and prevention efforts.

The organization is made up of a partnership of several state, educational and provider agencies.

While the Headquarters Counseling Center is located in Lawrence, Kansas, there’s nearly 20 different local suicide prevention resources around the state listed on the website.

In all areas, KPC works to expand prevention efforts to be more inclusive of mental health promotion, suicide prevention and problem gambling education and awareness.

They’re also working to increase the availability of resources to adequately fund local-level prevention and promotion strategic plans.

For more information on the efforts, click here.

There’s a national suicide prevention lifeline number that will connect the caller to a trained counselor at a local crisis center.

That number is 1-800-273-8255.

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