OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Thursday is World Suicide Prevention Day. On average, one person dies by suicide ever 32 hours in Nebraska, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The CDC said 11 percent of Americans surveyed in June had considered suicide in the previous 30 days.
“People are more isolated, you’re not out and getting to be around people,” Jennifer Moffett, Co-Chair Nebraska Chapter American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said. “If you’re the kind of person that needs that interaction and craves it, it’s absolutely going to have an impact.”
Moffett said the pandemic has brought light to the fact that everyone has mental health, just like physical health.
“Why can’t we do the same thing with mental health that we do with our dental health?” she said. “If we can start thinking about it that way, rather than this different thing or this new thing or stigmatized thing rather than just the same thing we do as brushing our teeth I think it would do a whole lot of good for people.”
She said we can help prevent suicide by learning the risk factors like depression, substance use problems, access to lethal means like firearms or drugs, and prolonged stress.
If you notice any warning signs Moffett encourages you to reach out.
“If you notice a change be willing to say 'Hey, are you okay? And I’m here to listen. And really listen,'” Moffett said. “It’s not our job as every day individuals to fix the problems of everyone around us but it is our obligation and responsibility to care for the people around us and to let them know that they matter.”
You can encourage them to reach out to a professional.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-8255 (TALK).
- Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
- Nebraska Family Helpline at 1-888-866-8660.
- Nebraska Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.
The Nebraska Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is hosting their annual Out of the Darkness event this week. It’s all online including a silent auction and live stream event on Saturday.