Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition

Mission:  The Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition (NSSPC) is a voluntary group made up of committed and passionate people representing public and private agencies, suicide survivors, and Nebraskans interested in suicide prevention. NSSPC is recognized by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as the primary group responsible for coordinating Nebraska’s suicide prevention efforts. NSSPC relies on the generosity of private foundations, grants, and in-kind donations to continue the work of preventing suicide in Nebraska.

Vision:  Prevent suicides in Nebraska through decreasing stigma around mental health and suicide, collaborate with partners, increase public awareness of suicide prevention, grow effective postvention practices, implement evidenced-based programs, and increase healthcare providers’ awareness of suicide prevention.

Funded Program Description:  This spotlight will focus on the two separate efforts made possible through the support of The Kim Foundation. The first being the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition Mini-Grant Program. Mini-grants were made available to suicide prevention coalitions, communities, and non-profit entities across the state of Nebraska.  Mini-grant applicants were encouraged to use their local data to drive their proposals.  Mini-grant applicants were able to submit $500-$3,000 proposals to support their suicide prevention and/or postvention initiatives.  Seven applicants were approved to receive mini-grants in 2019 and fifteen applicants were approved to receive funding in 2020.

The second is an effort of The Kim Foundation, Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, and other stakeholders to begin development and testing of a phone application that could be used by anyone in the state regardless of age or geography to quickly access suicide prevention services, resources, and report safety concerns. During these initial stages, prevention stakeholders have begun work on further developing a concept for Nebraska that would mimic such applications such as Utah’s Safe UT App minus the costly upkeep.

Successes of Program or Inspirational Stories: 

The Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition Mini-Grant Program has assisted local suicide prevention coalitions, communities, and non-profit entities through a variety of prevention and postvention opportunities. A brief summary of these efforts made possible by The Kim Foundation include:

  • Funding to further enhance the effort of the Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) Teams throughout the state by expanding awareness of these efforts within their area, purchase of resources and materials for suicide survivors that receive contact with their local LOSS Team, and further enhance suicide prevention efforts in their local areas. Thanks to these efforts and the efforts of the Nebraska State LOSS Team Coalition, 11 LOSS Teams are now actively providing support to Nebraskans in every Nebraska Behavioral Health Region.
  • Funded Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Trainings for veterans and military families. Additional funding from the mini-grant linked gun lock boxes and resources for participating families.
  • Promotion of the CenterPointe Crisis Line within the Lincoln community by way of printed materials, parking structure posters, community billboards, and distribution of Crisis Line cards to the 6,500 current students in 8th and 10th grade within Lincoln Public School Systems.
  • Funded Youth Mental First-Aid training in Kearney and Ravenna Public Schools for staff and students.
  • Assisted the Center of Holistic Development in training committee members, staff, faith and community leaders in QPR, and funded culturally appropriate suicide prevention efforts aimed at addressing suicide within the African American community.
  • Provided funding to the First Responder Foundation’s JAVELAN program to assist in the training of service dogs to be directly utilized by Nebraskan first responders and/or veterans with mental health struggles. These service dogs are specifically trained to respond to the early onset of anxiety, depression, suspicion, night terrors, suicidal thoughts, and other effects of behavioral health issues. The first dog trained by a portion of a NSSPC mini-grant graduated and bonded with his new owner in April 2020.
  • Funded ESU 8 in Northeast Nebraska for the training of two QPR trainers and supplies to provide QPR training to schools and students across ESU 8 school districts.
  • Funded the “Be Here Tomorrow” program coordinated by the Region 3 Behavioral Health Region that partnered with local breweries, bars, and pubs to bring greater awareness to suicide prevention and mental health for adults living in rural populations. This program coordinated special mental health awareness events within local breweries, bars, and pubs to host special mental health awareness events targeting at risk populations in hopes to break the stigma of talking about mental health. Participating breweries, bars, and pubs also are still utilizing the program’s approximately 10,000 cork coasters featuring the Lifeline Number and Crisis Text Line numbers printed on both sides of the coaster.
  • Funded the Panhandle Public Health District, Alliance Public Schools, and Hemingford in the implementation of QPR trainings within the area, and the implementation of Hope Squads in Alliance Public Schools and Hemingford High School for one year.
  • Funded the Neighbor to Neighbor initiative in the Central Nebraska area bringing suicide prevention and mental health awareness education and training to agri-business representatives to empower them to be advocates of behavioral health and support rural families. Their community engagement events connected approximately 500 farm families to suicide prevention and mental health awareness resources.

For the second effort, work has commenced on the development of a phone application that could be used by anyone in Nebraska to quickly access suicide prevention services, resources, and report safety concerns. The coalition and prevention stakeholders are continuing to develop and test the application prototype, strategize its development and marketing, and put in place evaluation components to better target prevention efforts upon its implementation. Once active, this application would be Nebraska’s very own prevention app. The app will provide fast access to suicide prevention through the Lifeline, family helpline, and/or safety plans for those who download it. It is unclear how many lives this will affect, but based on the implementation of a similar app in Utah, one can estimate that Nebraska could receive as many as 10,000 tips and hundreds more calls/texts to the Lifeline in a single year.

Contact Information:

Email us: suicideprevention.nebraska@gmail.com

Send mail:
The Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition
P.O. Box 23002
Lincoln, NE 68542

Visit our website: www.suicideprevention.nebraska.edu