Not Alone’s special guests this week represented Behavioral Services for the Mary Lanning Healthcare: Kim Kern, the Director of Behavioral Services, and Psychologist Dr. Jeromy Warner. Mary Lanning Hospital officially opened in Hastings, Nebraska, in January of 1915, as a general hospital with 50 beds. Over the years, it has evolved into a health center with 183 beds and a staff of nearly 1000.
As September is recognized as Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, Not Alone invited the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to share its story with listeners. AFSP was established 25 years ago by family members struggling to survive their loss, and by professionals wanting to understand and prevent suicide through research, advocacy, and education.
The Jed Foundation was established in 2000 for the purpose of reducing the rate of suicide and the prevalence of emotional distress among college and university students. Jed Satow, a young college student, took his own life; in response to this tragic loss, The Jed Foundation was established for the purpose of decreasing the stigmas surrounding emotional disorders, and increasing the help-seeking in college student population.
Allen Doederlein, President of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance National (DBSA), and Lucinda Jewell the National Board Chair were our guests on Not Alone this week, talking about the mission and support work of the DBSA from the national perspective.
Listeners to Not Alone will recognize that we have a special place in our hearts for young people, especially those living with mental health disorders. Magellan Health Services became one of the early pro-active partners in opening doors to the development of youth leadership, particularly for youth experiencing mental health, substance abuse, or foster care related challenges.
We were privileged to attend the Center for Holistic Development annual luncheon on Thursday, June 28 and would like to reflect a bit of its success. Omaha’s Mayor Jim Suttle signed a proclamation recognizing July as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and complimented the work of CEO Doris Moore, her staff, and her Board of Directors for recognizing the importance of treatment, in improving mental health care, and accessing resources that strengthen family wellness, especially in minority communities.
Not Alone’s guest today, Joel Slack, visited the program three years ago, and was invited back because so many people know and appreciate Joel’s work and had asked for an update. Respect International is an organization founded by Joel that demonstrates that those with psychiatric challenges can be full partners in their treatment and wellness. He reminded us that people experiencing psychiatric challenges deserve to be treated with respect, to experience hope, and to have the opportunity for healing.
Nebraska is fortunate to be home to several organizations that extend a helping hand to children experiencing loss and grief. These organizations are of immense value to our communities, as they help youngsters of all ages understand loss and grief in age appropriate words, and to experience comfort in their loss. Sadly, many children and teens never experience these steps to healing, and carry a never healing scar from their loss for years to come.
Tom Warren, the President and CEO of the Urban League of Nebraska was Not Alone’s guest today. What an impressive man. He grew up in Omaha, attended college, and became an Omaha police officer, attaining the rank of Chief before his retirement. Instead of relishing years with decreased responsibility after leaving the Omaha Police Department, Chief Warren chose instead to give back to the community via a new route leading the Urban League of Nebraska.
The spring season is a time of hope and renewal and it sparks interest in trying once again to change habits of addiction. We asked friends from Catholic Charities to join us and talk about opportunities and options for successful treatment. Mike Phillips, Director of Campus for Hope, shared that many times clients do arrive at their absolute worst, unable to see anything positive or sustaining about their life; they are frequently beyond caring. The mission of Campus for Hope is to help clients find their spirit’s resiliency, to see the good, the worth, the valuable treasure within themselves, and then help them develop the tools and skills needed to maintain a lifetime of safety and sobriety. It is not an easy process, and needs to be taken one step at a time, but life can and does change for the better.