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The Kim Foundation Update
The recent taste of nice weather has most definitely left us all with Spring Fever! Aside from enjoying the sunshine and fairer temperatures, we have had a lot going on here at the office. We have confirmed our speaker for A Time for Hope & Healing, but we won’t reveal who it is just yet! However, please save the date to join us on Wednesday, November 9th at Embassy Suites LaVista from 11:30 – 1:00 for what is certain to be a message of hope, and how one of the most well-known organizations in the country promotes awareness and prevention. This speaker and event will be one that will stick with you for quite some time!
We’ve also been busy with outreach, presentations, and Don’t Be Sidelined events this month. We were honored to be asked to facilitate a suicide prevention training and conversation with nearly 1,000 students at Ralston High School. As you’ve seen in the news over the last few months, youth suicide remains to be a significant issue for our community, and we commend the Ralston Public Schools Administration for taking this seriously and addressing it directly with their students. This is an issue that clearly hits home for them, and we were honored to be a part of their efforts. We were so impressed with how the students took it so seriously, and the bravery many of them possessed to open up and share their stories of both hope and recovery. As a mother of a teenage daughter, it broke my heart to listen to the stories they shared and the immense pain that many of them are living through. My favorite part of the morning was probably when a young man in the junior/senior presentation stood up and told his story of living through homelessness, depression, and even suicidal ideation, but then turned it around saying, “I’m here to tell you guys . . . it does get better!” The courage and resiliency that he demonstrated was incredible, and I am confident that he has a bright future ahead of him.
Bellevue Public Schools also had us out for six presentations for a lot of their primary and secondary staff, as did Gross Catholic High School. To see the importance schools are placing on these topics for their staff and students is tremendous in our opinion. We are always willing to go into schools and either work with staff and/or students to discuss suicide prevention, overall mental health awareness, community resources, or any relevant topic that you are seeking more information on. We also spend time going into church groups, service groups, companies, and anyone else who wants the information. Please just reach out to our office at 402.891.6911 for more information and to get scheduled today!
We had Don’t Be Sidelined (www.DontBeSidelined.com) events at the Pinnacle Arena in Lincoln for both Husker men’s and women’s basketball games. Did you get a chance to hear Anthony Steels, Dr. Dave Miers, and I in the radio interviews describing the campaign and how folks at home can reach out and get connected with the help they need? We hope so! Otherwise the interviews will be posted on our website very soon. We also handed out thousands of bracelets to loyal Husker fans helping to spread the word about mental health awareness. We are so grateful to all of the partners (Bryan Health, CHI Health, Husker Sports, Blue Valley Behavioral Health, Catholic Charities, CenterPointe, DHHS, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, Lutheran Family Services, Magellan Healthcare, and Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition) for making this awareness campaign possible. We are in our fourth year of this campaign, and have been so excited by its success, as well as the number of people who have shared their stories with us of how they have been impacted by mental illness and how they have reached recovery. We will be out at a Husker baseball game this spring, so watch for that date to come soon!
We are so grateful to all of the individuals, companies, and families who support The Kim Foundation in a number of ways. So if you are one who helps spread our message, reads our newsletter, follows us on Facebook/Twitter, attends our events, donates monetarily, volunteers, serves on our Metro Area LOSS Team or Advisory Board, or gets involved in any other way – THANK YOU! We couldn’t do what we do without all of you!
Julia Hebenstreit, Executive Director of The Kim Foundation
Julia Hebenstreit is the Executive Director of The Kim Foundation. She received her J.D. from Creighton University in 2005, and her BS in Journalism from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2002. She has been with The Kim Foundation since 2011, and prior to that worked for local non-profits doing development, strategic planning, communications and advancement. She has a passion for helping people and improving lives, and serves on the Executive Committee for Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations, as the 2015 Hill Day State Captain for the state of Nebraska, and as an active member of the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, BHECN Advisory Committee, RESPECT Advisory Board, Connections Advisory Board and the Project Propel Planning Group.