NORFOLK -- The Northeast Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition held a fundraiser at the King's Bowling Lane's Saturday.
Almost 100 people joined, in separate sessions to spread people apart safely for COVID-19.
President Donna Wolff, who lost her own son to suicide, said besides raising money, she wants to spread information and create community support
"When I lost my son, there was no support in Northeast Nebraska," she said. She said that grief support groups usually would judge those who lost someone to suicide and that there's a stigma where it is not treated the same as accidents or other health issues.
However, it is very common. She sees four to five reports of suicide in the region per month. Wolff said people need to know it is a real health issue that happens frequently in rural Nebraska.
She pointed out that people shouldn't say "commit" suicide as it is not a crime, and because it is more accurate to say they "succumbed to mental illness." People like Kim Erickson, who lost his son (a veteran) to suicide, agreed.
"In my son's instance, we really didn't recognize [PTSD] at all until it was too late," he said.
Wolff said people need to learn to recognize signs of mental illness to help prevent it.
You can call the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline for a free confidential counseling session at 1-800-866-8660.
If you are in Norfolk-Columbus area, you can join the coalition by emailing Wolff at firstname.lastname@example.org.