January has been a tough month for our community due to the number of people we have lost to suicide. Every time our LOSS phone rings our hearts break a little bit more. It is too often a reminder of why suicide prevention and education is so critical, and why postvention is such a huge need.
Unlike many other jobs where difficult tasks become easier over time, I don’t think I will ever get to a place where these notifications get any easier. I simply have to pray for the strength that we are able to do what we need to do help the family and friends of the loved one lost. Whether it is getting a team together to visit the family, or simply getting them the materials they may need, I know that our team is doing everything they can to provide support to those who need it most. Despite the obvious challenges, our team members will face, we continue to have more survivors and clinicians come forward to volunteer to become a part of this postvention effort.
I would like to take a minute to remind all of our readers and supporters that our 24/7 LOSS phone is to be used only by Sheriffs, Chaplains, and any other first responders responding to a suicide call. It is not a crisis line, and our volunteers are not trained to take phone calls by anyone who is having thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you know is having these thoughts or in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1(800)273-TALK (8255) or 911 if it is an emergency.
If you or someone you know has recently lost someone to suicide and would like to schedule a meeting with the on-call LOSS team, or if you have questions about getting involved, please contact The Kim Foundation at (402)891-6911. We will return your call by the next business day.
Jill Hamilton, Project Coordinator, The Kim Foundation
Jill Hamilton has been the Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation since 2014. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from The University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. Since working at the foundation, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, Nebraska LOSS Advisory Committee, The Omaha Metro Hoarding Taskforce, The Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, Nebraska State Conference Planning Committee; she is a volunteer mentor with Y.E.S., and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Area LOSS Team.