Suicide is something that has touched us all in some way, whether we have lost someone to suicide or we know of someone who has dealt with a suicide attempt. At some point in our lives, we have been affected. While the topic of suicide is a very heavy one and sometimes difficult to talk about, there are ways you can show your support.
Suicide Awareness Month is being recognized with many events throughout Nebraska and Iowa to increase awareness about suicide and to support local organizations that work hard to educate the community. Here are a few events where you can show your support, learn more about the public health crisis that is suicide, and ultimately help save lives:
- Thursday, September 6th – Hope for Tomorrow, A Toolkit for Life Sustaining Skills Workshop
Who: Presented by the Northeast Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition, Northeast Community Church & Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska
What: This workshop will cover suicide and mental health stigma, suicide on campus, suicide & healing, along with postvention, safe messaging, and local resources.
Where: Northeast Community College, Lifelong Learning Center, 801 West Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk, NE
Cost: $10 registration fee
Contact: To register, contact Donna Wolff at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Saturday, September 8th – Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention 5K Walk/Run
Who: Presented by the Ponca Hills Volunteer Fire Department Chapter
What: Come join the fun with lots of family friendly activities after the Walk/Run including inflatables, games, a DJ, and raffles that run until 2:00pm. All proceeds will be used locally for trainings, presentations, supplies, and advertisements to promote suicide prevention. Pre-register for a walk or run using their Facebook Page at Ponca Hills Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention or sign up the day of the race from 9:00-9:45am.
When: Walk/Run begins at 10am.
Where: Ponca Hills Fire Station 12919 Ponca Road, Omaha, NE 68112
Cost: $25 for Adults, $10 for 16 years old and under
Contact: Barb O’Keefe at email@example.com
- Sunday, September 9th – AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Walk
Who: Hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) NE Chapter
What: Come take a walk to raise awareness and funds that allow the AFSP to invest in research, create educational programs, advocated for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.
When: Check in starts at 11am, walk begins at 1:30am
Where: Lewis & Clark Landing, 345 Riverfront Drive, Omaha, NE 68102
Cost: Free registration, donations will be accepted
Contact: Amy Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday, September 10th – Community Suicide Prevention Education Event
Who: Funded by the Human Services Advisory Council of Iowa
What: Experts, alongside local crisis counselors, will be standing by live to provide information, answer questions, and provide tips. This night includes a presentation, panel discussion, and opportunities to ask questions. Free dinner and childcare will be provided for those that register in advance.
When: 5:30pm Meal; 6:00-7:30 Panel & Discussion
Where: Thomas Jefferson High School, 2501 West Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51501 – Also available via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/swiowaregion
Contact: Register at www.signupgenius.com/go/30e084fafa62cabfd0-community
- Thursday, September 13th – “The S Word” Screening
Who: Presented by The Kim Foundation, Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare & the Metro Area Suicide Prevention Coalition.
What: This film shares stories of suicide attempt survivors and survivors of suicide loss while documenting their unguarded courage, insight, pain, and humor. A panel discussion will follow the screening.
Where: Room 132 at the UNO College of Public Affairs & Community Service Building, 6320 Maverick Plaza, Omaha, NE 68182
Cost: $5 minimum donation on www.thekimfoundation.org/donate.html. Fill out the Paypal form and make sure to list “Film” on the form where it states, “This gift is in honor of.”
Contact: Lori Atkinson at email@example.com
Janae Shillito, Community Relations Director, The Kim Foundation, https://www.thekimfoundation.org/
Janae Shillito has been with The Kim Foundation since February 2017. She holds two science degrees with her alma maters including the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Janae’s love of volunteering and helping those without a voice created a strong desire to become a part of the non-profit world. In her spare time, she enjoys anything crafty, reading a good book, and being outside with her husband, Cory, and Rottweiler, Hank.