Creating a mentally healthier community

Suicide Prevention Coalition provides resources to those affected by suicide


Dealing with mental health is hard and it always has been.

The issues themselves are a trial of their own, but finding resources, breaking down stigma and finding people to talk to make it all the more difficult.

In Seward, though, it does not have to be, thanks to the help of the Suicide Prevention Coalition. 

The Suicide Prevention Coalition is an organization under the Seward County Bridges aimed at providing resources to those affected by suicide; whether personally or by someone close to them.

“Our mission is to engage our communities in preventing suicide by increasing prevention and postvention strategies,” member Matt Dominy said. 

The members of the coalition come from numerous backgrounds, from working in schools to the police force.

“It's important for us to understand the warning signs, as well as (saying), ‘what can we do now? What's our next step? Who can we reach out to to get this person help?’ Because, resources, because of funding issues, sometimes they're pretty few and far between,” member and Police Chief Brian Peters said. 

They encourage a large number of different resources for people. One main resource is QPR or Question, Persuade, Refer.

“The main focus is that from the beginning of the talk to the end, by the end, people will feel more confident and competent, so that when they get that gut feeling that something is going wrong with this person next to them, that they're not feeling right emotionally or that they feel confident to ask the question, ‘are you OK?’”  secretary Chris Blanke said. “Helping to emphasize the need (of) how do you ask the question in a way that that person is going to trust you? That you will really listen and be there to hear the answer, and not be judgmental or minimize.

“That's a big part of it, conveying trust and asking the question. That's the question part and then encouraging them to get help, that's the P. And the R then is being more confident and what are the resources so that when someone does need help, how can you get them connected?”

The Suicide Prevention Coalition hosts events to help train people in how to help themselves or other people going through mental health crises. One that is coming up is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, or WRAP, Workshop on Monday, June 24.

“It's an excellent tool for anybody, but especially if someone has a need where they are working to find healthy ways to manage stress, grief (and) stay mentally well,” Blanke said. 

The course is free and will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Seward Memorial Library. People can register by contacting (402) 362-2621 or emailing

The coalition is open to anyone in the community, whether they are a mental health professional or not.

“​​We would offer (joining) to anybody who wants to be a part of our coalition, and you don't have to be a mental health professional. We want people from the community to be part of it,” Peters said. 

The Suicide Prevention Coalition is a nonprofit under Seward County Bridges, making donations tax-deductible. Donation checks can be made to Seward County Bridges, Inc., with “Suicide Prevention Coalition” noted in the memo. Donations may be dropped off at the Seward Civic Center or mailed to Seward County Bridges, Inc., 616 Bradford St., Seward, NE 68434.