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Suicide Prevention During the Holidays

Holidays for some are one of the most wonderful times of the year, filled with family, friends, and food. It’s a time when we can stop and spend quality time surrounded by the things and people we love and are grateful for. However, for others, the holiday season may increase struggles with loneliness, depression, and grief.

At The Kim Foundation, we believe that suicide prevention begins with education and compassion. There are lots of ways that we can equip ourselves with knowledge about suicide prevention that could potentially save a life. First and foremost, we recommend you have a genuine conversation with the people in your lives, whether it be kids, colleagues, or friends. Take some time to check in with others and learn more about their wellbeing. Having non-judgmental, connected conversations with others can make a great impact for them, and for yourself. Spend time with the people you care about, especially if you know anyone who may be lonely or grieving during the season, it’s important to stay connected as much as possible. This can be as simple as a phone call, text, or even an invitation to celebrate the holidays with your family. A little compassion for others can go a long way, and the best part is, it’s free.

Educating yourself on the warning signs, risk factors, and protective factors of suicide is one of the first steps to take in suicide prevention. By familiarizing yourself with this information, it can become easier for you to identify these factors in someone you may know and could potentially save their lives. Consider taking a training course online for suicide prevention, getting enrolled in QPR training, or doing your own research on Learning about different resources available in your area, and nationally, is a great tool to have should you ever need to supply someone with those resources. You can find more information about resources available in the state of Nebraska here.

One of the easiest and quickest resources that is available anywhere in the U.S. is the 988 National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can call this line for yourself or on behalf of someone else, and a trained crisis counselor will walk you through the next steps, provide resources, and follow up. Lastly, it is important to help spread awareness on mental health and suicide prevention. Utilize your social media platforms to share resources, offer support, raise awareness, and promote mental health support services. The more people are informed, the more lives can be saved.

Suicide prevention is an ongoing effort that needs the help of everyone and should be practiced year-round. However, the holiday season can be a particularly challenging time for some individuals. By being compassionate, supportive, and informed, we can make a positive impact and potentially save lives.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please contact emergency services or call/text 988.

Ashlee Zaragoza, Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation

Ashlee Zaragoza is an Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Leadership from UNO in December of 2022. Ashlee has previous experience in leadership, management, hospitality and training development. Ashlee’s life experiences and passion for suicide prevention and mental health advocacy brought her to The Kim Foundation as a volunteer in May 2023. Ashlee’s passion for people has driven her into this role where she will be a supportive resource and compassionate voice for those affected by suicide and mental health. She currently focuses on outreach through presentations, events, and community initiatives.