New suicide prevention banners at Louisville parking garages reminding people no one is alone

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Self isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic has made many feel lonelier than ever, leading to Seven Counties Services getting an uptick in calls.

“We have seen an increase of anywhere from 20 to 30 %,” Jennie Hulette, the VP of Quality, said.

Hulette says they expect that number to rise, as the effects of the pandemic continue to grow and linger.

“What we know in Kentucky, every day two people die by suicide and over 50 people attempt,” Hulette said.

But in an effort to change the amount of people who take their own lives, the parking authority of river city  bringing brightness to the parking garage at 1st and main. Ken Herndon, an independent consultant, has worked with PARC to bring suicide awareness banners to every floor of the garage. 

“We wanted to make sure the signage was not only the right message but was also placed in the places where they would have the most cumulative effect,” Herndon said. “And when you get to the top floor, it’s on all four walls of the top floor.”

They used green, the color representing suicide prevention. They used a photo of sunflowers, because of their brightness and natural beauty. They even made sure the words and the number are right at eye level for someone sitting in a car.

“We tried to think of every nuance and detail to make sure this person in distress got as many of these messages as possible,” Herndon said.

Although it’s timing with virus  was simply coincidental, Hulette says people need this support now more than ever. A message that tells people, they will always have someone who cares and who will listen.

“And that’s exactly what the banner does. At the last moment, it doesn’t just leave you alone, it gives you a number to call,” Hulette said.

In a time filled with unknowns, she says it’s crucial to reach out to those around.

“Don’t be afraid to ask the question and if someone is feeling that way, help them get help,” Hulette said.

If you or someone you know needs to reach help, you call (502) 589-4313, or 1(800) 273-TALK. You can also text the word *HELP* to 741741.

Contact reporter Jessie Cohen at JCohen@whas11.com and follow her on TwitterFacebook or Instagram  

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