The Metro Area LOSS Team met on Tuesday February 23rd, for the first time since November. In December, we turned our regular meeting into a holiday party at DJ’s Dugout. Meeting for a fun evening out gave us an opportunity to bond and get to know each other better. Since our January meeting was canceled due to the ice storm we had lots to catch-up on this month!
On March 23rd and 24thwe will be hosting our first ever Nebraska LOSS Teams Conference: Uniting to Support Survivors of Suicide Loss. The conference will be held at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Omaha. The conference is FREE and open to any interested mental health professionals, clergy, school staff, parents, and community members. During the Thursday evening session, LOSS Team creator, Dr. Frank Campbell, will speak on how the community can be supportive in the wake of a suicide. There will be a panel discussion with law enforcement, Nebraska LOSS Team members, and local suicide survivors. The session will run from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. To register, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uniting-to-support-survivors-of-suicide-loss-speakerpanel-tickets-27686588331?aff=ehomesaved.
Friday’s day-long workshop will be focused on educating community members on suicide postvention. Learn postvention best practices, crisis resolution, how to develop a postvention plan, and how to use words to promote healing. CEUs (5.5) will be available for LMHPs during the Friday sessions. The Friday workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To register, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uniting-to-support-survivors-of-suicide-loss-community-tickets-27680696709?aff=ehomesaved.
On Saturday, LOSS Team members throughout the state will get together for their own private training with Dr. Campbell. We will also hear from Dr. Don Belau, and our very own Clinical co-directors, Mary Kate Hoffman and Ciara Warden.
We also welcomed Julie Bloomingdale from the Boys Town National Hotline who came to talk to the group about how we can utilize the hotline. She talked about the approach the crisis counselors take when speaking to a person having suicidal ideations and she introduced us to their youth focused website, YourLifeYourVoice.org. We also learned that the top 3 reasons people reach out to the hotline are mental health issues (particularly depression), suicidal ideation, and relationships.
Over the past few months, our community has been impacted by over a dozen suicides. Our volunteers have been very busy reaching out to families, providing suicide specific resources, answering questions, and offering peer support. Our team was invited out to meet with three of these families. We are still hoping to be invited to meet with more.
Everyone and anyone who has been impacted by a suicide and is in need of support is welcome to reach out to The Metro Area LOSS Team for help. Please contact The Kim Foundation at (402)891-6911 to receive the LOSS Team’s contact information.
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 suicide prevention hotline. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call 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, please contact The Kim Foundation at (402)891-6911.
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, is Chair of the Nebraska LOSS Teams Conference Planning Committee, and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Area LOSS Team.