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Metro Area LOSS Team Update
As 2015 is winding down, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the many successes that the Metro Area LOSS Team has accomplished during its first year.
We have now held two orientations for new members, with the most recent training taking place last week. Our team now has 18 trained LOSS members all prepared to begin the shadowing process. The training process is slow, but very critical in the type of work these volunteer survivors will be doing. Each member is required to shadow on two call-outs before becoming “active” as a member. In addition to our current volunteers, there have been several people express interest in getting involved with the team who are now in the application process. The recruiting of new members will be continuous as the territory we cover will also grow.
In October, our team began taking LOSS calls with the assistance from the Lincoln LOSS Team while our team is still in the shadowing process. An advisory board was developed with the help of many respected mental health professionals, survivors, and law enforcement, all whom are committed to helping guide the team. We are so blessed to have them volunteer their time and invaluable experience.
We also have been busy collaborating with local law enforcement to begin the process of incorporating the LOSS Team in their standard operating procedures. Once this is complete, we will be able to offer all officers additional support when faced with a suicide call.
Each month during our monthly team meetings we incorporate a training piece in order to ensure our team members are continuing to grow their knowledge of suicide postvention and prevention tactics. In 2016 we plan to offer trainings in QPR, (Question, Persuade, Refer) crisis intervention, and how to explain suicide to children, just to name a few!
If you are a suicide survivor (someone who survived the death of a loved on by suicide), and have an interest in getting involved in the team, please contact Jill Hamilton for more information, email@example.com.
About Jill Hamilton, The Kim Foundation Project Coordinator
Jill Hamilton has been the Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation since 2014. She graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism and public relations from The University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. Since working at the foundation, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, Nebraska LOSS Advisory Committee, The Omaha Metro Hoarding Taskforce, The Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, Nebraska State Conference Planning Committee, she is a volunteer mentor with Y.E.S., and serves as the Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Area LOSS Team.