Department of Psychiatry employees donate time and money for suicide prevention

Dom Gliko, Ali Krause, Celeste Akers and Laura Fuller work the Nebraska Medicine table at the Out of the Darkness Walk, which raises money for Suicide Prevention.

During September, Department of Psychiatry faculty and staff volunteered their time to support suicide prevention. 

September was Suicide Prevention Month, and September 10 was World Suicide Prevention Day. 

On September 10, PES Manager Jen Sparrock; Behavioral Health Connection Lead Celeste Akers; Kira Gee, MA; Cathy Schnieders, RN; and UNMC student Mark Carter helped create a display of 309 pair of shoes, which represent the Nebraskans who lost their lives to suicide in the past year. 

“I’m so proud of our team members for these moving and thoughtful activities to recognize World Suicide Prevention Day,” said Department of Psychiatry Chair Howard Liu, MD, MBA. 

On September 18, dozens of UNMC and Nebraska Medicine employees participated in the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk. 

Akers, Department of Psychiatry Volunteer Committee Chair, said it was a team effort. 

“I very much appreciate the assistance of Jen Sparrock, Laura Fuller, Dom Gliko, Ali Krause, and her baby Kate, who helped set everything up,” Akers said. “Saturday was a beautiful day for the walk, and the event had an awesome turnout.”

Akers said the Nebraska Medicine/UNMC team raised $3,370. In all, the Omaha Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raised $274,200. 

The giving didn’t stop with the Saturday morning walk. Later on Saturday, Sparrock delivered six cases of bananas and 70 cases of water to Siena Francis House, an Omaha non-profit, which welcomes and empowers those experiencing homelessness to navigate their path to housing.

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