LINCOLN, Neb. - So far in 2019, 32 people have died by suicide here in Lincoln. That's almost as much as the entirety of 2018, when 34 people died by suicide.
The Lincoln Lancaster County Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors, or LOSS, Team says, despite celebrating a decade of fighting to end the stigma surrounding suicide, their services are more important now than ever before.
"In the country, suicide is going up," said LOSS Team Coordinator Terri Marti. "Nebraska is also going up, but not to the same degree that the United States is. But it is still a problem that's on the rise. As much as you do, I wish we could find that magic button or key to help someone before they get to that bad spot."
Today, the LOSS Team held it's annual walk to raise awareness about suicide. Families affected by suicide and suicide survivors walked around Antelope Park and released balloons to commemorate their loved ones and celebrate their survival.
"I think it's nice that, whether you're crying at this event or not, everyone understands what you're going through," Marti said.
Marti lost her dad to suicide in the 1970s. She says there were no services like the LOSS Team when she was going through her struggles.
Now, she visits with families and points them to resources that can help.
"I had people who I visited with two years ago come up and hug me today, but we also lost someone just last week and their family is here for the walk today too," Marti said. "And of course there are also several people who, like me, have been dealing with this for several years. We really run the gamut."
All the money raised from today's event will go to the LOSS Team to help provide resources to families in the wake of a suicide.