LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We want to warn you: The information presented in this report may be difficult for some to watch.
In June, we brought you the story of a man who said the pandemic and the loss of his job pushed him over the edge. He contemplated suicide.
“I had my mind made up, yeah, yeah I did," said Louisville resident Kevin Burch.
He said the pandemic cost him his job, and his mental health.
“Your business dwindles down and down and down. To where it’s literally nothing at this point," said Burch.
And when he called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the middle of the night, he said he was put on hold for about 20 minutes. He wanted to end his life.
“It spoke to me, it really did," said Louisville therapist David Ianke, who watched Burch's interview on WHAS11.
He calls it divine intervention. He connected with Burch’s struggle.
“In 2013, I myself was suicidal," said Ianke.
Now, as a mental health therapist in Louisville, he knew he had to do something.
“And it was an easy answer for me, it was I want to help," he said, offering Burch mental health counseling for free.
“Kevin was so down on his luck, and money issues there was no doubt I was going to offer this pro Bono. It was just a given," said Ianke.
“Had it not been for him reaching out and it being free of charges, I probably wouldn’t be taking this step," said Burch.
Ianke said he’s received about 60% more calls for mental health counseling over the last year of the pandemic. And he said that increased demand is why crisis call centers around the country have been stretched thin.
“I wish we could do more," he said.
Burch said he’ll be meeting with Ianke weekly for counseling.
If you’re struggling with feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide, you can contact Louisville's local crisis hotline, Seven Counties Services, for referrals. That number is 502-589-4313.
The Louisville area’s crisis call lines at Seven Counties Services:
24/7 Addiction Help: 502-583-3951
24/7 Adult Crisis Line: 502-589-4313
24/7 Child Crisis Line: 502-589-8070
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll-free number 800-273-TALK(8255) connects the caller to a certified crisis center.
►Have a story tip? Contact the FOCUS Investigative team at FOCUS@whas11.com