By Matthew Keck–

Training to help families navigate suicide risk will be in session at the University of Louisville’s Shelby Campus in Burhans Hall Sept. 26 through Sept. 28.

“This is the first time this training will be offered, and the first training to address navigating family relationships when working with suicidal family members,” said U of L Suicide Risk-Specialist Laura Frey. Frey does research regarding family dynamics after adolescents have attempted suicide.

This training is intended to help participants better understand suicide risk and to inform families how to support and talk to those with suicidal tendencies.

“The type of treatment will depend on the severity of suicidal thoughts or behaviors,” said Frey. “Relationships with family members and other support persons can be essential to helping a suicidal person feel connected; yet, sometimes existing family dynamics may need to be addressed so that family members understand how to be most helpful for their suicidal loved one.”

The training will cover suicide risk, assessment and appropriate responses to those at risk. Participants will focus on understanding family factors like communication and youth development.

“Although this training is not focused solely on college students, all of the concepts covered will be applicable for professionals working with college students and their family members,” said Frey.

She said that this training can be beneficial for families to see how their relationships impact one’s own suicidal thoughts.

Professionals who help people experiencing suicidal tendencies can receive up to 18 hours of credit for attending all three sessions of training.

From 2001 to 2017 suicide rates in the U.S. increased 31 percent from 10.7 to 14 per 100,000 according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Center for Disease Control reported over 47,000 deaths by suicide in 2017, which was double the number of homicides.

In 2017 suicide was the second most common form of death for those ages 15 to 24 according to the NIMH. Their data shows that 6,252 people in that age group died by suicide that year.

Kentucky had an average rate of 14.24 to 16.95 per 100,000 deaths by suicide per year from 2008 to 2014.

Photo By Matthew Keck / Louisville Cardinal