Focus on suicide prevention as numbers increase

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the suicide rate has increased and an Omaha group is working to reach those in the community who need help.

Julia Hebenstreit, executive director of the Kim Foundation, was a guest on WOWT 6 News Midday, talking about the focus on helping individuals and family members impacted by mental illness and suicide, especially youth. "They are certainly at risk, they're more open to the information and they're around their peers a lot and so really being able to empower them with that knowledge."

The key is recognizing the warning signs, in yourself and others, that last two weeks or longer. Those include:

-Talking about feeling worthless or helpless or having no reason to live
-Saying things like “I'm going to kill myself,” “I wish I was dead,” or “I shouldn't have been born”
-Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
-Giving things away or returning borrowed items
-Self-destructive or reckless behavior
-Significant changes in behavior or displaying extreme mood swings
-A sense of hopelessness about their situation
-Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
-Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
-Talking about being a burden to others
-Withdrawing or isolating themselves
-Increased use of drugs and alcohol
-Change in sleeping patterns – too much sleep or too little sleep
-Change in appetite – eating too much or too little
-Dramatic mood change

The Buffalo Wild Wings at 146th and Maple streets is donating 10 percent of its proceeds Monday and Thursday to suicide prevention efforts in the community. Make sure to mention The Kim Foundation when placing your order.

Visit thekimfoundation.org for more information.