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Lincoln – September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and every Nebraskan has a role in saving lives. In Nebraska, a person dies by suicide once every 32 hours. Thankfully, many survive their attempts, and it's important to realize that there is help and treatment available.
“Mental health challenges and suicide are still not easy topics for many people to discuss with others," said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health. “It is important to surround yourself with trusted and supportive people. Building a strong support network is a key step in recovering from a suicide attempt and keeping safe in the future. You have experienced a significant health event, and just as you would while recovering from any other health concern, you will need time, reflection, and support from others during your recovery. It's normal to feel fearful, ashamed or confused. With time and the right support, you will get through this. Recovery is different for everyone and it may take time, but it is possible. Your life matters."
If you have made an attempt to end your life, you may need help to sort out your feelings and talk about what you have been through. The “why" of suicide is complex and answers may not come easy. You don't need to have all of the answers to heal from this experience. You can learn how to manage these thoughts in the future to keep yourself safe. Your journey of healing is one that many others have been on and survived.
One useful tool is a safety plan. Safety plans help you recognize what puts you at risk; find effective coping strategies; encourage you to engage with people and go to places that help take your mind off your problems, and help you keep your environment safe.
The American Foundation for Suicide Recovery suggests things you can do to support your recovery:
On July 16, the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline became 988, an easy-to-remember number that provides direct access to compassionate care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress or thoughts of suicide. Downloadable materials for use by the public can be found at https://dhhs.ne.gov/988. Nebraskans can call or text 988 and be connected to a trained counselor. If you have a family or loved one that you are concerned about, 988 counselors can provide assistance. Save a life, just make the call.
Help is available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to: