n-ccsuicideposter

Suicide Prevention Poster hangs in the Stadium Drive Parking Garage at 625 Stadium Dr, on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “Why are there suicide posters all over the parking garages?”

The posters were hung by HopeLNK, the non-profit Lincoln-Lancaster suicide prevention coalition.

Alyssa Christensen, the chair of HopeLNK for Lancaster County, said the posters were hung in all public Lincoln and UNL parking garages in 2016 after many local suicides had involved parking garages. 

In 2014, Lincoln saw the “highest suicide rate in its youth population,” with several of those deaths involving parking garages. One of those was a “high profile UNL student,” David Miers, a founding member of the HopeLNK Lancaster County coalition, said in a statement.

The posters have been successful in helping students find support for their mental health by supplying them with resources and phone numbers to contact, Christensen said. 

“A few people reached out to [Miers] saying, ‘I was having a tough day and I saw your signs. I’ve been struggling with suicidal ideations and I didn’t know where to reach out to,’” Christensen said. “They were walking to their garage after dinner one night and saw the sign, and that’s what really connected them.”

HopeLNK strives to inform people of the variety of mental health resources in Lincoln and to connect them, Christensen said.

The organization’s mission is to help “elevate” the discussion regarding mental health and suicide prevention in Lincoln, according to its website.

“We have a lot of crisis areas where people can get the support they need, and just connecting with them is important,” Christensen said. “So that’s our goal, is just to connect with people.”

news@dailynebraskan.com