LOSS teams to hold free suicide prevention training for community

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OMAHA, Neb. (Kim Foundation Press Release) -- The Metro Area Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors Team (LOSS), in partnership with LOSS teams throughout Nebraska and the Department of Health and Human Services, will be hosting a conference, “Uniting to Support Survivors of Suicide Loss”, March 23-25, 2017 at the King of Kings Lutheran Church (11615 I Street, Omaha). The conference will consist of speakers and panel discussion addressing suicide postvention, including presentations by Dr. Frank Campbell, national LOSS Team creator.

The conference is free, with select events open to the public and others limited to members of Nebraska LOSS Teams. Space remains available for a community event Thursday, March 23 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Dr. Campbell will educate the community on how to provide support after a suicide, followed by a panel discussion with first responders and suicide loss survivors. The general public is invited to attend and registration is encouraged.

Since 1999, the United States has experienced a 24% increase in suicides. Currently suicide is the leading cause of death for youth 10-14 in Nebraska and is the tenth leading cause of death for all ages in the United States. Suicide grief is unique and carries many additional emotions including anger, guilt, blame, regret, and sometimes even relief. Because there is still so much stigma surrounding suicide, survivors often do not receive the type of support that they may need.

“Chances are, at some point in our life we will all be touched by suicide, whether it be a family member, friend, co-worker, or an acquaintance, said Jill Hamilton, Project Coordinator, The Kim Foundation. “Suicide doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone despite age, race, religion, or education. It’s happening in our community and it’s important to learn how we can best support the loved ones left behind.”

The Metro Area LOSS Team is comprised of survivor volunteers (persons who have experienced the suicide of a loved one). Members serve as a first response team when a suicide occurs in the community, in cooperation with law enforcement officers, chaplains, fire fighters, EMTs, and other first responders. Research has shown that through programs such as LOSS, survivors are more likely to seek help for their own emotional response to the suicide and are also at a significantly reduced risk to attempt or complete suicide themselves.

For more information about the conference or to register, contact The Kim Foundation at (402)891-6911 or info@thekimfoundation.org.