Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 13, 2011

Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or

Conference to be Held on Suicide Survivors

May 19 – 21 in Lincoln

Lincoln—A conference about outreach to suicide survivors will be held May 19-21 at BryanLGH East, 1600 S. 48th Street, in Lincoln.

Suicide survivors are the family, friends, co-workers and others that the person who committed suicide left behind.

“Sometimes people don’t know how to act around those who have lost someone to suicide,” said Scot L. Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “This conference will help health care providers and others understand how such a loss can affect survivors and what they can do to help.”

The main speaker will be Frank Campbell, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., an expert on the psychological and social effects of suicide. Campbell has over 20 years of experience helping survivors of suicide and victims of trauma. He will talk about how suicide impacts a community, what can be done for survivors, and the healing opportunities that survivors have found helpful. He will also talk about the building and sustaining of LOSS teams, or Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors.

LOSS teams are formed with the goal of bringing immediate support to survivors of suicide. LOSS- trained survivor volunteers and a mental health professional are activated by first response officials to the scene of a suicide. The LOSS team is present to offer resources, support, and serve as sources of hope to survivors, as close to the time of death as possible.

Other speakers at the conference will be:

  • Dave Miers, PhD, is counseling and program development manager at BryanLGH Medical Center. Dr. Miers is the co-chair of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition and co-developer of the Lincoln/Lancaster LOSS team.

  • Terri Marti, Med, works with Families Inspiring Families and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Terri is a member of the Lincoln/Lancaster County LOSS Team.

  • Cynthia Surrounded, MFS, BS, AS, is an Indian Child Welfare Act specialist for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and an instructor in the Human Services Program at Southeast Community College.

  • Barb Scholz is a member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Lincoln/Lancaster County LOSS Team, and is the author of “Your Forever Angel: Surviving the Loss of a Loved One to Suicide.”

  • Don Belau, Ph.D., is the co-chair of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition. Dr. Belau co-developed the LOSS team in Lincoln/Lancaster County and serves as the LOSS team clinical director.

The conference is intended for nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health care providers, public health officials, clergy, emergency managers, first responders and security professionals. Continuing education credits are available for some professions.

To register for the conference, go to  

The conference is sponsored by Bryan LGH, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, and Interchurch Ministries. It is partially funded from a federal youth suicide prevention grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).