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The Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition convened the Suicide Prevention Summit on Friday, January 29th, 2010. The event was hosted by BryanLGH West in Lincoln, and 24 sites across the state participated via videocast through the Nebraska Statewide Telehealth Network. The goal of the event was to provide an overview of suicide as a public health concern in Nebraska, present opportunities to discuss local needs related to suicide prevention, and featured an introduction to best practices in suicide prevention.
The audience of the Summit was comprised of 270 community members, professionals, suicide survivors, and youth and adults interested in promoting suicide prevention practices in their communities.
Keynote remarks were provided by Tom Osborne, Athletic Director of the University of Nebraska. He emphasized the importance of suicide prevention in youth, and highlighted mentoring as an example of a program supported by evidence that can make a difference for foster children and other at-risk groups. Dr. Osborne also shared his survivor story by describing how suicides of a childhood friend and a football player had impacted his own life. Dr. Joann Schafer, the Chief Medical Officer of Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Scot Adams, the Director of the Division of Behavioral Health in Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about suicide prevention efforts and needs in Nebraska. Collette Wheeler and David Tuttle of Veteran’s Affairs presented information about ongoing suicide prevention efforts for members of the military in Nebraska.