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Sidney gets shoes ready for the 2023 Suicide Awareness Walk

SIDNEY – In Nebraska, the second leading cause of death for residents aged 10-years-old to 44-years-old is suicide, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS).

That amounts to approximately 1-in-13 Nebraskan deaths each year. That means one person dies by suicide every 32 hours in our state.

Be Here Sidney is a local nonprofit that seeks to bring awareness to suicides and also offer solutions. They work hard getting their message out to residents, that they are not alone; there are ears to listen to them, shoulders to cry on and compassionate people that want to help them find healing. The active members of the organization are: Kristin Rose, Nancy Gipfert, Misty Gurr, Aubrey Lovato and Lavon Hajek.

On September 17, the group will be organizing a local walk to once again raise awareness of suicide in our community. The event will start at 4 P.M and will take place at the Sidney High School Track, where Cheyenne County Sheriff Adam Frerichs will be conducting the opening ceremony.

There will be a Memory Wall, and cards to write notes of remembrance will be provided. Organizers encourage people to bring a photo of someone they lost due to suicide for the wall.

Attendees will have an opportunity to paint rocks with memorial messages to loved ones, or inspirational words to encourage others, that they may take with them to keep, or place around the memorial bench, donated by Be Here Sidney. The official dedication of the bench will take place in early October.

Meals will be served on a free will donation basis.

Clothing commemorating the walk may be purchased online by visiting:

Three dollars from every article of clothing will be donated to the Sidney Chapter of Be Here, an organization which hosts events for parents and families to memorialize their children.

For more information, call Lavon Hajek: (308) 249-6487.

The Sidney Sun-Telegraph would like to remind residents to reach out to someone: a friend, a family member, a coworker, a community member, 'Be Here', a licensed therapist or any other trusted individual in the community if you are experiencing a crisis. In collaboration with the 'Be Here' message, the Sun-Telegraph is committed to being here for our community and is available to direct residents to interventionists and resources. Cheyenne County and the City of Sidney has a number of suicide prevention resources locally and through the state.

Those resources include:

24-hour resources:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255;

Crisis Text Line text 741-741;

Nebraska Family Helpline 1-888-866-8660;

Vets 4 Warriors 1-855-838-8255; and

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255.

Mental and Behavioral Health Providers:

Destiny Counseling 308-254-0737;

Heart Land Counseling 308-284-6767;

Inspirit Counseling 308-430-1944;

Kaurna Counseling 308-249-7853;

Mental Health Alliance 308-225-6572;

Open Door Counseling 308-225-4335;

Options in Psychology 308-632-8547;

Region One Behavioral Health 308-635-3173;

Sidney Veterans Affairs 308-254-1114.


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