0027 Thrive and Connect: Suicide Survivors – LOSSTeam: Jennifer Fry

National Suicide Prevention Life Line 1-800-273-TALK, that’s 1-800-273-8255.

Jennifer is a LOSSTeam. More information on the LOSSTeam is available at  (http://www.lossteam.com/hope-candle-hands11205410_s)

Jennifer is the Suicide Outreach Coordinator (OC) for the State of Nebraska as well as being a suicide survivor and can be reached at nebraskalossteam@gmail.com.

We talked about misconceptions regarding suicide and common triggers.

As to the triggers, some common ones include:

  • relationship breakups
  • financial difficulties
  • retirement

With regards to misconceptions: those close to the at-risk individual tend to think the person will be okay with time. Frequently the family dynamic can be broken up because no one knows what to say nor how to respond to the loss of a loved one. In her case, there was no LOSSTeam in Nebraska.

Jennifer spoke of her own journey and how it brought her to her current professional position – she had lost a cousin to whom she was very close. This led her to continue her course work and research into suicide  and connecting with Dr. BeLau. Her position as the OC for Nebraska functions as the central hub for those in Nebraska who need information.

In her work on the LOSSTeam recent survivors can get a sense of understanding and support since Jennifer and others on the team bring their personal experience and, in Jennifer’s case, professional experience.

Part of the outreach work is with county boards of health and clinicians helping raise their awareness and understanding with regards to suicide, at-risk individuals, and responding to situations. This work includes working directly with clinicians, providing training in peer support, signs to watch for, and role-play training.

In determining how to work with those beyond the immediate family and friends there is only anecdotal evidence as to the effectiveness of the outreach program.

Jennifer’s team is working with the Nebraska Work Well Program to provide information for prevention and postvention as to what to do in the work place with potentially at-risk individuals as well as survivors of suicide.

In terms of what has been rewarding for her, she’s found her place in doing work about which she is very passionate.

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