A Youth Suicide Prevention speaker is returning to west Kentucky on Thursday to speak with middle and high school students.
Drew Bergman will discuss with roughly 3,500 students in Graves County positive coping mechanisms and mental health.
Lourdes Hospital spokesperson Nikki Coursey said Bergman spoke to students in Marshall and McCracken counties last year. She said then, more than 30 students talked to Bergman about suicidal thoughts and attempts.
“We actually had one student in particular who came up to Drew and told him his story,” Coursey said. “From that, that student got a therapy session with one of the counselors and his entire family ended up going to the therapist as well,” Coursey said.
Coursey said west Kentucky has the highest suicide rate per capita in the commonwealth. A 2016 Kentucky Initiatives for Prevention survey found 15.4% of high school sophomores reported having suicidal thoughts within the past year. Rates in the Pennyroyal and Four Rivers region were among the highest.