LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Lexington campaign called #LexTellSomeone aims to prevent suicide by asking people to speak up if they need help, according to community leaders.
The campaign was created by the Central Kentucky Homelessness and Housing Initiative, said Kelly Gunning, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Lexington chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“Many of the people we talked to around launching this initiative were very vocal about hopelessness,” Gunning said, “and the depth of that hopelessness seems to be greater and deeper than I’ve heard in years past.”
Talks around creating the campaign began when four people experiencing homelessness in the area either attempted suicide or died by suicide within the month of May 2018, according to Catholic Action Center Director Ginny Ramsey.
“It’s all about community,” Ramsey said. “It’s all about people caring and it’s all about people understanding that they count.”
Suicide is a growing problem locally, Gunning said.
In 2017, 770 Kentuckians died by suicide, according to the American Association of Suicidology.
“There’s a lot of reasons why,” Gunning said, “but what we have to do is try to get on top of it and try to do really aggressive and meaningful outreach into every facet of our community.”
The campaign is not only for those in the local homeless community, Ramsey said, but for everyone.