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Wrap Up of Annual National LOSS Team Conference

The 8th Annual National LOSS Team Conference was held in Phoenix, AZ this year on October 22 and 23. The National LOSS Team Conference is an opportunity for mental health professionals, first responders, school counselors, suicide loss survivors, LOSS Team members, and others from the community to learn more about suicide postvention and the Active Postvention Model known as LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Team. This year’s conference brought people from all over the United States and even Australia. The presentations focused on the “Instillation of Hope,” a goal Dr. Frank Campbell, the founder of the LOSS Team model, has had since the beginning.

Dr. Edwin Shneidman’s concept of “postvention as prevention” has governed Dr. Campbell’s work with suicide survivors since 1986. Dr. Campbell envisioned a “LOSS Team”, a team of trained survivors who would go to the scenes of suicides to disseminate information about resources and be the installation of hope for the newly bereaved. The Active Postvention Model concept involves a team who goes to the scene of a suicide and provides support and referral for those bereaved by the suicide. The goal has been to shorten the elapsed time between the death and survivors finding the help they feel will help them cope with this devastating loss. The Active Postvention Model has shown to have a positive impact on both the team members (most often bereaved individuals who have gotten help and now provide the installation of hope to the newly bereaved) as well as the newly bereaved.

The conference provided breakout tracks focused on First Responders/LOSS Teams, Clinicians, Survivors, and School/Community attendees allowing a focus for everyone. The Kim Foundation, the Metro Area LOSS Team, as well as all other LOSS Teams throughout Nebraska were represented at the conference.

Kailey Kocourek, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Kailey joined The Kim Foundation in July 2018 as the Project Coordinator. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from UNO in Public Health and is currently working towards her Master’s in Public Health from UNMC, expecting to graduate in May 2019. She was drawn to the non-profit world because of her passion for helping and educating others. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and spending time with her husband, Ethan, and two children, Kaiden and Emry.