Around 265 Nebraskans commit suicide each year and The Nebraska Department of health and Human Services wants residents to remember prevention works, treatment is effective, and people do recover.
Director Sheri Dawson with the Division of Behavioral Health says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Nebraskans with one resident succumbing every 36 hours.
While state suicide rates are below the national average, suicide is still prevalent among the state’s youth.
“It’s the second leading cause of death for people in Nebraska ages 15-34,” Dawson tells Nebraska Radio Network. “So we need to do some work with the younger people.”
Dawson says the state offers a variety of support programs, both for those who are suffering through feelings of suicide, to those who have lost loved ones to suicide. One example she gives is Nebraska’s Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors or LOSS teams, where suicide survivors and mental health professionals provide support for those who have had a loved one commit suicide.
If you suspect someone you know is suffering from suicidal thoughts, you can take a simple step to help them, according to Dawson.
“One of the fallacies out there is that you should not ask someone if they’re thinking about suicide,” she says. “That actually is a myth.”
In fact, Dawson says some stern probing can be helpful.
“Be direct with them,” she says.
Dawson recommends that after you talk with them, comfort the person by letting them know you care. From there, Dawson suggests recommending the person seek help, depending on the degree of their tendencies.
September is National Suicide Prevention month and support is always available by calling The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).